Elections
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Basalt Public High School, in Basalt, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, en route to Aspen, Colo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Basalt Public High School, in Basalt, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, en route to Aspen, Colo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)  

Pew study: Voters describe Romney as ‘honest,’ ‘businessman,’ ‘rich’

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

As Mitt Romney prepares to take the stage at the Republican convention, and then power through the final 70 days of a general election, a Pew Research Center study finds that not only are Republicans at the convention getting to know him, but so are Americans as a whole.

The study asked respondents to say which word best described the Republican nominee. In October of 2011, when the race first started, the word that came to mind for many people was “Mormon.”

By March, locked in a hard-fought primary, respondents described Romney most commonly as “rich,” but also “good.” “Mormon” was mentioned significantly less often.

In the most recent Pew study, the most commonly mentioned adjectives have again shifted. The top five now are “honest,” “businessman,” “rich,” “good” and “conservative.”

On the whole, Pew notes, more people describe him with negative adjectives — like “liar,” “arrogant,” or “out of touch” — than with positive ones.

But there have been positive additions for Romney, like “honesty.” Pew ranks “businessman” as a neutral term, but it suggests that the Romney campaign’s push to portray him as a businessman who has the Mr. Fix-It skills to repair the economy is working.

Also, while Romney fought through a primary against opponents who painted him as a moderate, fewer people used the term “conservative” to describe him. Now, it is the fifth most oft-mentioned term. Republicans, Pew confirms, have more positive reactions to Romney than they did several months ago.

Democrats and Independents, however, say more negative than positive things about the Republican nominee.

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