England's online betting giant Paddy Power is giving 100-1 odds against Mitt Romney showing up at Wednesday's presidential debate in an open collar, but he should consider it judging from the cooing and giggles by swing state women over his casual look in the campaign's ad developed to offset his "47 percent" comments.
"He seemed more real, more laid back, more compassionate," one woman told pollster Linda DiVall in Richmond after viewing the ad, "Too Many Americans."
"Part is that he's just in a button down shirt, no jacket and tie," said another viewer during a focus group session. "More casual," said a third. "A kindler and gentler version," said a fourth.
In the ad, Romney looks directly at the camera but never addressed his 47 percent comments, instead broadly explaining how he would add 12 million jobs and get people off of welfare. DiVall, hosting the focus group for the GOP group Resurgent Republic, said the ad has done a lot to lessen the concern and anger over Romney's comments which are now part of an Obama ad.
What's more, it's opened the door for Romney to use the presidential debate to further explain his plans to swing state, college educated women, she said. "He has a plan," said one woman who hopes to hear more at the debate. "He cares about the poor and middle class families," said another.
The focus group is the second piece of good news for Romney as he fights the 47 percent comments where he explained he was not going to try to chase the 47 percent of voters who rely on government handouts and who support Obama. Pew Research Center said that the public believes the media has devoted too much coverage to the issue.
"The reaction among those aware that Romney made the comments is clearly negative. Yet they also think that news organizations are giving too much coverage to Romney's "47%" statement," said Pew. "Nearly half of voters (49%) who know that Romney made those remarks say news organizations are giving the story too much coverage, while just 13% say they are giving it too little coverage; 28% say the amount of coverage has been appropriate."