Currently, slightly more voters have a favorable (50%) than unfavorable (45%) opinion of Barack Obama. Though there are still more than three months to go before the election, Obama’s current favorability ratings compare poorly with the final pre-election ratings for previous Democratic candidates. Not since Michael Dukakis in 1988 has a Democratic candidate gone into the election with favorability ratings as low as Obama’s are today.
Romney faces a more daunting challenge, as more voters say they have an unfavorable (52%) than favorable (37%) opinion of him. The only prior presidential candidates to be viewed negatively going into the election were George H.W. Bush in October 1992 and Bob Dole in October 1996.