CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading
February 14th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
3 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. medianone

    Mitt Romney's decline in popularity can probably be traced to when he released his tax statements. After finding out the 'low' effective tax rate he pays on millions in income. Then his comment that the $375,000 he made in speaking fees "weren't very much". Everyone started scratching their heads wondering how a person can amass possibly over $100 million in an IRA when there are supposed to be limits on how much you can contribute each year. That and his using off shore accounts, blocking corporations, and Swiss bank accounts. And finally his "I am not concerned about the poor... because they have a safety net" coupled with his "Let the housing market hit bottom." comments. Not necessarily the stuff of the makings for which a common man/voter can relate to or really want to vote for.

    February 14, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Marsha in IN

    Are you crazy. Rick will never be president so start loving Mitt or Obama. He is the only that can beat Obama

    February 14, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. TJeff1776

    SO...these polls change from week to week- depending on who is taking them. Another thing IS that the media prints writers and quotes people that keeps it a neck and neck race. Sells advertisements.

    February 14, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. bookworm

    With the fraud and manipulation of the latest caucus, the GOP can't even cheat their way into making voters like him.

    February 14, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Eric

    Romney needs to do an about face and run a more positive campaign. Let the cards fall where they may.

    February 14, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Daddy5

    Rick Santorum is clearly the leading GOP candidate at this point. Unlike Romney, he comes from a working-class background and can connect with Reagan Democrats. Look for his favorability to rise as more people get to know his lovely wife and children, including his adorable 3-year-old disabled daughter Bella.

    February 14, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. John Henson

    I didn't like Mr. Romney when he ran against Sen. McCain. I believe Mr. Romney thinks he should be crowned nominee because he lost last time. From what specific logic does that assumption come?

    So, now, I suppose we can expect Mr. Romney's minions to start attacking Sen. Santorum. Well, his "surrogates" are doing just that.

    February 14, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Left Nut

    Romney has the same type of poker face as G.W. Bush,... so, as the old saying goes, "History Always Repeats Itself", expect 8 years as Romney as President = too much money, too many lies, always a war monger, talks with God, and another 9/11 type scenario inventor to manipulate all the brainwashed kool-aid drinkers on the planet.

    February 14, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Bozzz

    it's fading for good reason==he's not very likeable. Neither is Rick.

    February 14, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. MikeB

    Here we go again. Another beauty contest. When will the actual issues facing this Nation actually matter?
    For this Nation to succeed for the the American 'People', shouldn't we be electing a citizen that is successful?

    February 14, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Jamie from Riverside

    What's to like? I know he's worth globs of money but to me he just looks and sounds like a cheap hustler.

    February 14, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. mikedeang

    seriously, exactly what does it take to be "most equipped on abortion issues"?

    February 14, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. aurelius

    Another proof that the Republicans are confused. The GOP has become a holdout for rabid anti Obama, extreme fundamentalists, racists and bigots of all sorts. Only some of the rich find legitimate reasons to vote for a Republican candidate still.

    February 14, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Blindersoff

    53% approval and the best is yet to come . . . Obama/Biden 2012! LOL

    February 14, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. M

    Santorum is at least coachable and advisable I think. Romney may be too one dimensional. Surprised at Santorum's longevity and standing today. If it's him or Obama, Santorum will definitely do far less damage to our Nation than Obama will. As long as sticks to the truth, surrounds himself with advorsies and analysts that give me the real data and he applies it wisely, I'm ready for a new speaker of the Nation.

    February 14, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. nathan

    Let me spell it out for those on the right: O V E R .

    February 14, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Son Of Liberty

    It should read, "Romney's Desire to Spend Money to Make Himself Seem Likable is Fading" but I guess that is a bit long for a news article title.

    February 14, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Mike

    The problem with Romney is that his motivation to be president is self gratification. It is just another pet project that he is working on.

    February 14, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. Martin Walters Seattle

    Wealth can buy 6 years of a candidacy but it can not buy you personality and conviction.

    February 14, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    maybe this article title should be... CNN Poll: Paul most liked above other candidates

    February 14, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. clarke

    Well, I really never cared for him. He just doesn't have what it takes to be a leader.

    February 14, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Ed Fl

    Romney is now showing what most people feel, He has big bucks and he talks down to the peons.Unfortunately for him is that the Peons are the voters.Wearing jeans to try and convince the public that he is one of them AIN"T GONNA WORK.

    February 14, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. texasdude

    So obviously Ron Paul needs to run against Obama, since he will get more votes. I'm glad the Republicans don't read it that way.

    February 14, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Patricksday

    The Majority of Americans dont want a Corporate CEO who only saw Profits not the livelihoods of employees without a job once he took over a business-running American President. He has proven how much he dislikes the Working Class, Middle Class and Poor. Now Santorum will bring the Catholic Taliban to America, his Zealot far right ideas also keep the majority of people serving the very Wealthy, and the Catholic Bishops.

    February 14, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. PhactChecker

    It doesnt matter which one of these knuckel heads wins.. they are going to lose to obama in the presidential election so thank you mitt and Rick, for exposing the GOP for what it is.. a party of do nothing loud mouths

    February 14, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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