Quick: What's Mitt Romney's real first name? (No Googling!) If you didn't guess "Willard," you're in the same boat as 94 percent of America that somehow still doesn't know all that much about a guy who's been running for president for five years. According a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, a 20 percent plurality of us thought that "Mitt" was his real name and not a glove-like nickname. 18 percent said "Mitchell"; 8 percent, Milton; and only 6 percent correctly said "Willard." But the most important stat from the survey is that somehow, in some way, 2 percent of real-life adult voting Americans believe that his name is "Mittens." As in what you'd name your cat -- but instead of being a cat, Mittens Romney is a leading contender to be the leader of the free world. Another 2 percent thought his name was "Gromit," which is almost equally as ridiculous sounding (and also, coincidentally, the name of a dog). Maybe he should just go with "Mittens." Romney needs more people to like him, and the Internet has clearly demonstrated people's love of cats. They also like pranks, so maybe this is the 2 percent of the public that likes giving funny answers to pollsters. Or it may be evidence of the (modest) success of Gawker writer Jim Newell's aggressive campaign to advance the nickname when he was at Wonkette. Whatever the deeper meaning, Mittens makes for certainly a better animal association than newt-like Newt Gingrich does.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.