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. GOP = Greed Over People

    What, the American public is beginning to view President Obama in a more positive light than the any one in the GOP "clown car"?

    Well, like him or not, he is at least sane.

    February 14, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. allens

    wait, where was i when he was likeable? people do not like Phonies. he is a blatant phonie. he is not only unlikeable, but is clueless about what 99% of americans think or feel. as scarey as it sounds, he is still the best repulican candidate. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    February 14, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. midogs2

    Let's see; Michelle Backman, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum again, and Ron Paul. Does the Republican party have a hard time coming up with some one equivalent to Chris Christie? You have already failed the election in 2012. You just don't know it 9 months ahead of time.

    February 14, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. ML

    A liberal, a conservative and a moderate walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hi Mitt!"

    February 14, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Don

    As if ANYONE but the absolutely brain dead ever truly liked this clown. Romney is as likable as a case of the Black Death and about as useful as well.

    February 14, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Marsha in IN

    What is wrong with you Michigan. Obama didn't do anything to help the car industry. Bush put the bailout in place. What do you want a welfare country. We can keep spending!!! I think your governor and other political didn't help. We have problem in Indiana but we are not dumb enough to vote for Rick or Obama. Women came to follow to go back to the kitchen. That where Rick wants women WAKE UP!!!

    February 14, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. K3Citizen

    It is safe to say that there is no GOP candidate qualified to beat Obama. Maybe this is the time for the GOP to stop obstructing and start working with the Democrats. The GOP's main goal of getting Obama out isn't going to save the country.

    February 14, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. anon

    "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%."

    Paul is clearly the only competitive candidate in the general election. Republicans need to smarten up and start voting for him in the primaries.

    February 14, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Andrew

    Well considering that Romney has very little empathy, it's not surprising that he is losing favorability. However, Santorum will never win at the general election. His policy ideas are too extreme, too religiously influenced, and don't appeal to moderates or independents. Republicans just went from one loser to another. This changes nothing. Obama will still win his second term. He would have to screw up spectacularly in order for him to lose.

    February 14, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Angy

    I can understand that. he is a dumb as rick perry, just has more $$$$$. Just another BIG dumb bell.

    February 14, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Phattee

    The GOP is shattering. Let's just hope these clowns are nowhere near any position of power when it finally happens.

    February 14, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Joseph Smith

    The more Americans get to know Romney, the less they like him.

    February 14, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. logicnLA

    why would they even poll people about abortion issues when looking for a President. His views are just that- views. there is nothing he can do to change the law one way or the other. And to the 32% that gave Santorum a favorable rating- don't have abortion! This is a decision for the woman involved and no one else!

    February 14, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. seriously???

    Wow, what leadership. Just what the country needs. No thanks republicans. I prefer a real leader in the White House. Too bad most of you are stubborn as mules and won't get with the program.

    February 14, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Shane Botwin

    Don't you have to first be likable before your likability can fade?

    February 14, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. VastRightWingConspiracy

    When was the last time something positive was said about him in the press.

    The press is driving this "untrustworthy," "unlikeable," and "unrelatable" narrative.

    I haven't heard anything positive about him for weeks. Even when he wins there's a downside.

    February 14, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  17. Kyon

    I don't know what to make of this. It feels saddening and out of place for my expectations

    February 14, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Emperor Vadik, CA

    Amazing that when Republicans (whoever he or she is) are exposed...

    ...people like them less and less!!!!!....

    ...the sad thing is that Republicans get the wrong message out of this...

    ...instead of saying people don't like us because we're crazy and need to step back into reality, their answer is DIG DEEPER INTO THE INSANE CRAZY REPUBLICAN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD...

    February 14, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. Pat

    Santorum was viewed as most suitable for abortion issues. After all these debates this is what people view of him.

    February 14, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. westward

    If it were up to Romney – the US wouldn't have an auto industry.

    February 14, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. francis

    I noticed Cnn and other news media outlets are pushing Santorum , They know the President would rather run against him instead of Romney...They are trying to call the race for the Presidents benefit...I am loosing trust in the media companies ...

    February 14, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Scef

    Things do not look good for mitt or the republican establishment maybe the people have decided led by the far right this does not bode well for the national election or the future

    February 14, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. iloveJesus

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

    Looks like it will be Obama/Biden in 2012...

    February 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. Tax Fairness

    Just when you think the GOP has reached the bottom, it finds a way to sink lower.

    February 14, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. DC OBSERVER

    The GOP is going to hand the White House to Obama if they turn their back on Romney in favor of Santorum. But such is the arrogance and stupidity of the GOP - they would rather have Obama than give the White House to a moderate Republican like Romney -- Just how DUMB is that? And the Queen of Dumb? That would be Palin and the PEW Report...... utterly clueless

    February 14, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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