Palin's unfavorables are off-the-charts bad. But not among the base. Among Iowa Republicans she has a 65-30 fav/unfav split (an almost exact inverse of her fav/unfav split among all voters). Rasmussen's national poll of the GOP base has Palin's favorables at 79 percent, even though many consider her unelectable in the general election. Hence my reluctance to join the CW that she cannot win the nomination. Alex Massie acknowledges Romney's various weak spots, but still thinks he's the frontrunner:
Romney's problem, I think, is that he lacks both empathy and imagination. These are under-appreciated, but vital, qualities. A politician need not possess both (Thatcher, for instance, lacked imagination but possessed empathy - at least for the people she thought she was talking to or cared about) but successful politicians have some measure of both. Deficient in these qualities, Romney comes across as stiff and awkward and somewhat robotic. His politicial intelligence seems artificial; he has a grasp of the grammar but lacks true fluency in the idiom of day-to-day retail politics and the Vision Thing. Consequently it sometimes seems as though he is trying too hard and, in the process, he risks making himself appear ridiculous.
Bernstein, who likewise believes that Romney has a shot at the nomination, discounts the damage Romneycare will to to Mitt's campaign.