Candidates come and go, but Mitt Romney stays … at 25 percent. The good news for Romney in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is that he is back on top of the Republican field, earning the support of 25 percent of leaned Republicans. The bad news for Romney is that is smack dab where he was one month ago … at 25 percent. He doesn’t budge. Texas Governor Rick Perry lost 13 percent from his September numbers and now stands in a second place tie with Herman Cain, who jumped 12 percent.
One way to read Perry dropping 13 percent and Romney not moving at all is that some Republican voters might have decided they don’t like Perry, but those voters didn’t exactly flock to Romney.
Still Romney advisers are upbeat, saying “this is all good for Romney.” One adviser stated while it is clear voters are looking around, “all of this is people who will come to Mitt.”
There are signs in the poll that Republicans find Romney a tolerable, if not exciting candidate. In one measurement, 38 percent of voters say the more they hear about him the more they like him, compared to 35 percent who like him less.
That measurement was not as good for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has a 43-23 positive split on this question. For Perry a whopping 44 percent say the more they hear about him the less they like him, compared to 30 percent who like him more.
Another sign that Romney is at least acceptable to a broad range of GOP voters? He is the leading second choice for voters who say their first choice is Sarah Palin, and also the leading second choice for voters who say Christie is their first choice. So Romney is the runner-up for both Palin and Christie voters, which is pretty good for him.
While Romney might not be lighting anyone on fire, one of his aides says that “it takes somebody to beat somebody.” And lucky for him, nobody yet seems to be the “somebody” who is a breakout choice.
Sometimes in politics “meh” is marvelous.
ABC News’ Gary Langer contributed to this report.