Public criticism of Mitt Romney’s race for the White House has risen sharply, with six in 10 Americans expressing a negative opinion of how he’s handling his campaign and a majority responding unfavorably to his comments on people who don’t pay income taxes.He's pretty much terminal, the "stench" is his putrification. Mitt Romney has been successfully (in large part by his own personality and actions) as being un-caffeinated Donald Trump, just as crazy, disconnected, and assholish. Romney fell right into the trap the Obama campaign set for him, scratch that, thanks to the tea-baggers he jumped into it feet first.
Sixty-one percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll hold an unfavorable view of how Romney’s handling his presidential campaign, up by 12 percentage points since mid-July. Far fewer, 35 percent, rate Romney’s performance positively, essentially unchanged.
Barack Obama’s ratings for handling his campaign are substantially better, 54-43 percent, favorable-unfavorable. And while ratings of Romney’s campaign have grown more negative, favorable ratings of Obama’s campaign efforts have gained 8 points since July.
You do not come back from that -- now he is literally praying that events he has no control over will save him (and I don't mean poor job numbers like +75k, but numbers like minus 100k or more, or a massive Obama mistake, not just some edit the GOP tries to make one, those by now just fit into the Romney is a lying sack of shit narrative). It isn't going to come from the debates.
People DO NOT LIKE MITT ROMNEY, in fact most hold him in contempt, that is going to be people's perception going into the debates -- unless he completely abandons his base (thereby pissing them off royally) and comes into the debate as a completely new AND authentic person (impossible) he will lose all three of them ... and badly.