Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is so dull that he could benefit from an eye-popping scandal because it would help tear down his plastic image and make him look more normal, according to national pollster John Zogby.
"This is the one instance where a groping incident could help a candidate," said Zogby, in a reference to the scandal that torpedoed former GOP candidate Herman Cain's campaign.
He said it could be the missing "leveling experience" for Romney that would make him look more human. Zogby explained that many stiff, rich men have run for office and won, but they typically had a humbling moment that made them more likeable. He gave former President George W. Bush's alcoholism as an example of that leveling experience.
"His problem is an authenticity problem," said Zogby of Romney, who today released his New Hampshire tracking poll that has Romney far in front. "He's the kid who never colored outside the lines," said the pollster.
Zogby said Romney needs to find a way to connect with an unethusiastic party that wants to vote with its brain and heart. But, he warned, he shouldn't try to do that with a policy speech or new position. "Likability," he said, "is a lot more than an issue."
He echoed charges from competing campaigns and President Obama's advisor David Axelrod that Romney's 25 percent finish in the Iowa caucuses was an example of how he's failed to expand his personal base of voters from the amount he received in the 2008 caucuses.
Romney, Zogby said, spent "a lot of time, money and energy to get where he was already."