CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading
February 14th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's overall favorable ratings have dropped, while Rick Santorum's standing has jumped among Republicans, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday indicates Romney's popularity has especially taken a tumble among Republicans, with a 13-point decline in positive reviews from his own party.

See full results (pdf)

In the new survey, 54% of Republicans said they hold a favorable opinion of Romney, while 67% said the same in January. Among all Americans, 34% described the candidate as likable, down from 41% last month.

Meanwhile, Santorum's recent victories have boosted his standing among Republicans, 56% of whom had a good opinion of the former Pennsylvania senator, up from 49% in January.

The survey was conducted Friday through Monday, the tail end of a big week for Santorum with three contest victories followed by a spike in fundraising and poll numbers.

But among all Americans, Santorum's favorable rating has remained flat. Thirty-two percent held a good opinion in the new survey, while 31% said the same in January.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich received positive reviews from roughly half of all Republicans.

But those numbers declined when Americans of all political affiliations were surveyed. In that case, Paul came in at 42%, ahead of Romney and Santorum, and Gingrich's favorable rating fell to 25%.

That leaves only one presidential candidate in the race with a national favorable rating above the 50% mark: President Barack Obama.

Among all Americans, Obama received positive reviews from 53%, with the poll suggesting he may have grown more popular in recent months.

Asked about issues, Republicans see Romney as the candidate most suited to handle the economy, taxes, health care and the deficit.

Gingrich, meanwhile, has a major advantage on foreign policy and illegal immigration, and Santorum is viewed as most equipped on abortion issues.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

The sample also includes 937 interviews among registered voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney seeks to unite conservatives

Protestors disrupt Santorum event, get arrested

National Review calls for Gingrich to leave race

Pro-Romney super PAC increases buy in Michigan


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Mitt Romney • Republicans
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Good healdine for once, CNN. Really captures how we can atlk about Mittens like a temporary rash.

    February 14, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Durl

    Just saw Mitt Romney last night in the Phoenix airport Marriott, with at least 8 Secret Service officers. He is not the same away from the podium. He is a politician saying whatever for a vote!!!

    February 14, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Larry L

    He once had "likeability"?

    He needs to quit beating-around-the-bush and just move to the bottom-line for right-wing conservatives. His campaign slogan should be "I'm rich and I'm not an African American!". Isn't that really what this is about with that far-right fringe that seems to be controlling the Republican Party?

    February 14, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. tbone

    Well surprise, surprise....Romney is definitely worse of two, and he IS anti union and anti 2nd amendment- EVERYBODY should realize that. Sorry Mitt, you can't have it both ways...and people of Michigan are right – you should just go away

    February 14, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Maxx

    The one consisten thing about Romney is that the more people get to know him, the less they like him. He had a 34% approval rating at the end of his one term of governor of Mass, which is why he didn't runfor a second term.

    February 14, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. Jez

    Santorum is a cave man. His beliefs about women are that of a cave dwelling Iman.

    February 14, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. BMA

    How can you have such a negative attitude when Romney won the CPAC and is the ONLY candidate whose poll numbers have remained steadily rising while others come and go?

    February 14, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. justaminit

    Likability? Maybe among the wealthy and entitled, but not among the average American. This is your true political chameleon. Just wait 24 hours and he will morph into whatever he thinks the group he is addressing wants. This is a walking monument to how out of touch the Republican Party is with the common man. Santorum is a zealot, so he won't fare any better. The sheep's clothing is off of the wolves.

    February 14, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Elizabeth

    I am not fond of either Santorum or Romney.....but I truly mistrust Romney.....Santorum is a wing nut.....I think he probably believes most of what he says....Romney is a moderate...and would likely govern like Obama.....I dislike his hypocrisy intensely when he takes out after Obama to appease the base. I believe he will do anything to be President.

    February 14, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Is Mitt a Git?

    Not a surprise here. Mitt Romney has never passed the likeability test because he is so disingenuous. He seems plastic, and only after his own glory and not a real champion for America. President Obama, although he has made mistakes, has always seemed like he is our champion, and I believe that is because he had his own champions and learned how important that is growing up.

    The presidency is not an entitlement, as Romney seems to think by his words and actions. Someone said on another post that Romney is favored by more foreign leaders, but that must be by "conservative" leaders–however, President Obama still leads with an international favorable rating.

    February 14, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Name Bob

    They usually wait for the Repiblican to get the nomination, before slamming them.

    February 14, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. G

    Money can't buy love.

    February 14, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Is Mitt a Git?

    This is not surprise. Mitt cannot pass the likeability test because he is only after his own glory. His actions and words do not demonstrate that he is a champion for America–only for himself.

    President Obama, although he has made mistakes, seems to always be America's champion. He had his own champions growing up, and I think he knows how important that is.

    Obama 2.0, 2012

    February 14, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Nan

    I wouldn't vote for Romney. He has 200 million dollars. He doesn't need a job. I don't want to pay him with my tax dollars or any other taxpayer dollars for the rest of his life.

    February 14, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. G D

    Yep, the polls verify the core issue here: until the GOP can put up a tolerant and reasonable candidate that will appeal to the most of us, they will represent only the fringe. And no, none of these guys is likable, and only Ron Paul is respectable in that he has held his same fringe beliefs for decades. The rest are hot airbags and other types of bags to remain unnamed.

    February 14, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Apple Pie

    Surprised? Not a bit.

    February 14, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. sam

    Ron Paul has the highest approval level on a CNN poll out of all the candidates? And all you can talk about is Romneys 'likability' fading? You guys are going to ruin your credibility if you keep this up...

    February 14, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Chris

    "But those numbers declined when Americans of all political affiliations were surveyed."

    Yes, Obama wishes he could run against Santorum... CNN wishes it too, as this same story airs DAILY....

    February 14, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    Again, he will never call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue his HOME. As a matter of fact in November let's give him his freedom to RE-hire all the illegals he wants and continue hiding his bank accounts in OTHER countries as no one will care.

    February 14, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Howard

    You say that Romney's likability is fading ... as opposed to the likable obama, who is responsible for America's fading !!!

    February 14, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. The Middle

    So Santorum is good with abortion and that's what people care the most about? There's no way I'm voting for him. If he wins the nomination I hope he loses in a landslide just to prove that there's more than the far left or far right. And to prove Gingrich wrong.

    February 14, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Joe

    Hidden in the middle of this article:

    "But those numbers declined when Americans of all political affiliations were surveyed. In that case, Paul came in at 42%, ahead of Romney and Santorum, and Gingrich's favorable rating fell to 25%.

    That leaves only one presidential candidate in the race with a national favorable rating above the 50% mark: President Barack Obama."

    - – - – - – - – - – - -
    ... which shows CLEARLY that Ron Paul is basically the only Republican candidate that can compete with Obama.

    February 14, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Obediah

    So much for the hullabaloo in the GOP machine! Even they cant seem to make up their minds about who they solidly stand behind.

    February 14, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Hawk80

    The GOP circus: the longer these clowns keep running while carrying nothing but their egos on their shoulders, the crazier and unpredictable this race is going to get. Regardless, I see an Obama re-election in the horizon.

    Obama 2012.

    February 14, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. tmaster1

    Well surprise, surprise....Romney is definitely worse of the two, and he is anti union and anti 2nd amendment – everybody should realize that. Sorry Mitt, you can't have it both ways...and people of Michigan are right – you should just go away

    February 14, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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