Is “Rombo’s” mudslinging starting to backfire?

Rick Santorum has released a strong new attack video criticising Romney’s seemingly relentless negative advertising. The spot shows a Romney look-alike firing a machine gun filled with mud at Santorum targets, before the weapon backfires and throws mud on to Mitt’s pristine white shirt.

Let’s brush over the fact that it’s a negative ad about negative ads… and focus on the fact that this clever spot is based on a seemingly genuinine (and therefore powerful) insight that elements of the Republican electorate seem to be souring towards Romney’s bully boy approach.

The Washington Post notes that “Romney has to start worrying about the effect all these negative ads might have on his own electability. His favorability rating has been declining at a precipitous rate”

Whilst the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that he “isn’t winning friends with his relentlessly negative campaign” and needs “to make a better, positive case for his candidacy beyond his business resume.”

This lighthearted advert makes Santorum look like both a victim and a plucky underdog – no bad thing.

However, Santorum may not be able to play the underdog card for long: a new survey shows Rick Santorum has jumped to a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.  Santorum leads with with 39%, followed by Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 10%.

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