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‘Favorite Son’ Candidates Fail To Charm The Folks Back Home

June 16, 2011

The poll numbers tell the story.

These days, states seem to have grown tired of their hometown pols and in some cases resent their national ambitions. And in an age where cable news and the Internet have nationalized politics, voters have more opportunities to get to know other candidates that may seem more appealing.

Romney’s not the only presidential hopeful whose home state popularity is lagging. Just about all of the GOP presidential candidates would have a hard time winning their own states if they ended up as the party nominee, which may factor into the thinking among many Republicans that the 2012 field is lackluster.

Tim Pawlenty never received a majority of the vote in Minnesota in his two successful runs for governor. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann almost certainly couldn’t win the state — her high-water mark in her own GOP-friendly district was 53 percent, registered during the Republican landslide year of 2010.

In statewide polls conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, both had higher unfavorable ratings than favorable.

It’s a similar story in Pennsylvania, where voters drummed Rick Santorum out of the Senate by 18 percentage points—he was the rare incumbent to lose by a blowout margin. Newt Gingrich, who has yet to set foot in his campaign’s Georgia headquarters, would lose the state to President Barack Obama, according to one recent poll

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