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Stakes high for Romney in Republican convention (3)

By Wang Fengfeng (Xinhua)

09:19, August 27, 2012

"And the reverse is true for Barack Obama," said Dante. "Even if people don't like the policies, they like Barack Obama, and that's a real problem for Romney."

The convention may be the opportunity for Romney to deal with likability issue, and put two-month worth of negative ad barrage of the other side to waste.

"In how he presents in front of the camera, and how he delivers the speech," said Haynie, Romney "has to look real," and he has to introduce his running mate Paul Ryan as a credible partner on the ticket.

Feaver agrees, he said if Romney "fails to connect this time, then he's in very serious trouble."

But there are things that may prevent Romney from staying on the message. One is the controversy brought up by Republican Representative Todd Akin from Missouri, whose remarks about how the female body can prevent itself from pregnancy after a " legitimate rape" has caused a national firestorm, rekindling the debate of abortion and other social issues in the election.

The controversy is not good for Romney, said Haynie, because " it keeps him away from the message that he wanted to (deliver to) the public. Having to talk about abortion and these issues takes away from opportunities to do what he needs to be doing, and time is running short."

Besides the controversy, the Romney campaign's plans for the convention may also be interrupted by Tropical Storm Isaac, which could distract national attention from Tampa.

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