CNN Poll: Romney favorable rating rebounds
April 17th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Romney favorable rating rebounds

Washington (CNN) - Does Mitt Romney deserve a second look now that he's pretty much wrapped up the race for Republican presidential nomination?

According to a new national poll, the answer is yes.

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And a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday also indicates that Romney's popularity is starting to rebound now that the divisiveness of the primaries appears to be all but over.

Forty-four percent of people questioned in the survey say they have a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, up 10 points from February, during some of the most heated moments of the GOP primaries and caucuses. Forty-three percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of Romney, down 11 points from February. Thirteen percent are unsure.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, a few days after former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania suspended his bid for the GOP nomination. Even though former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas continue their long-shot bids for the nomination, Romney is now generally considered the presumptive nominee.

The survey indicates that Romney's popularity still lags well behind President Barack Obama's: 56% have a favorable view of the president, with 42% saying they see Obama in a negative light.

"The Republican Party's favorable rating has also rebounded now that the nomination fight is all but over, from 35% in March to 41%," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That still puts the GOP several points behind the Democratic party's 46% rating, but it is an indication that the wounds have started to head from the primary season."

The changes come at a good time for Romney, who is hoping to re-introduce himself to the American public, since it looks like a good chunk of the public will be receptive to that message. According to the poll, 53% of all Americans plan to give Romney a second look when the primaries are officially over, with 45% saying they already know enough about Romney to decide whether he would be a good president.

The candidate's wife, Ann Romney, has become much more visible on the campaign trail, and was in the national spotlight last week, after Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen created a controversy by saying that Romney "never worked a day in her life."

The poll indicates that Ann Romney's unfamiliar to roughly four in ten Americans, but her favorable rating outweighs her unfavorables by a two-to-one margin. Seventy-one percent have a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama, with 22% saying they hold an unfavorable view of the first lady.

As for Michelle Obama's husband, while his favorable rating, which measures reactions to him as a person, stands at 56%, the president's approval rating, which indicates what Americans think about his performance in office, stands at 49%, with 48% saying they disapprove of how he's handling his duties. Obama's approval rating in CNN polling stood at 51% last month, with his disapproval rating at 45%.

According to the poll, 47% of crucial independent voters give the president a thumbs up, with 49% saying they disapprove of the job he's doing in the White House.

"Obama's personal popularity has consistently been his biggest strength, both as president and as presidential candidate," says Holland. "And his 56% favorable rating has a historical resonance as well. Two of the last three presidents to win re-election - George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan - had an identical 56% favorable rating in April of the year they won a second term, and the third - Bill Clinton - had a 57% favorable rating in April of 1996."

On the other hand, Obama's 49% approval rating illustrates the dangers his re-election bid may face.

"No president since Harry Truman has won re-election with an approval rating below 50% in April of a re-election year, and Obama is three to five points behind where Reagan, Clinton and Bush were in their re-election efforts," Holland points out.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International April 13-15, with 1,015 adult Americans, including 910 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

Also see:

House election committees add millions to coffers

Romney ready for November fight: 'It's going to be fun'

Romney says he wouldn't transport dog on roof again


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Really obvious points and questions

    "Nancy

    sorry, but mitts will not have me giving him a second look. his views for this country are how we got into the mess we are slowly getting ourselves out of. why go back to those failed polices? just a reminder for all of you, in january 2009, our economy was still losing over 750k jobs a month. home values have sunk. our economy was on the brink of disaster. and you want to go back to that? i really don't think so. that is one reason i am voting obama/biden 2012. at least main street will have a chance to continue the recovery."

    You are aware that Obama continued more than half of the prior administration's policies, from defense to the economy, right? Except that they spent even MORE $ we didn't have in the first place to do so.

    April 17, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. nolimits3333

    Romney tied his dog to the roof of his car for a 12 hour trip. He did the same thing to the American worker when he looted American companies and shipped their jobs overseas. Obama saved GM and created 23 straight months of private sector job growth. I will be voting for Obama.

    April 17, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. NO WAY THIS RICH BS WILL WIN

    This mormon moneky stand no chance aganist Obama

    April 17, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. NoKidding

    Yes, take a second look...and you'll see a new picture on his Etch-a-Sketch!

    April 17, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. LoveBumps

    Lets see some knee jerk voting like Wisconsin did one state still paying the price for voting republican. You'll be sorry! They will take everything and I mean all of it.

    April 17, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Kelli

    Terry – No, no, no...I am afraid you are wrong. Democrats understand that by helping those that are less fortunate it betters our society as a whole. I agree with that. Republicans are the ones that take advantage of services that are there because of the taxes we pay yet complain about paying the taxes. Who wants the handouts?

    April 17, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. People call me "Willy"

    Big money loves Rmoney...

    April 17, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Really obvious points and questions

    "Kelli
    Really obvious points and questions – hahahahahahahaha...fiscal responsibility? You mean like how the Bush administration put us into the recession? hahahahahahahahahaha"

    I see that you, like Obama, is still running against the Bush administration. Awkward.

    April 17, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. MaxNatoma

    Let's see what happens IF and when he releases his tax returns.....

    April 17, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. kayla

    latinos for obama
    women for obama
    america for obama

    April 17, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. janerose

    Mitt will kill the poor, enslave the middle class. America will be a horrible place. Unless you are rich. Oh wait! Mitt will come for all of you who have money one day.

    April 17, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Really obvious points and questions

    "Kelli
    Terry – No, no, no...I am afraid you are wrong. Democrats understand that by helping those that are less fortunate it betters THE DNC'S VOTING BASE AS A WHOLE. I agree with that. Republicans are the ones that take advantage of services that are there because of the taxes we pay yet complain about paying the taxes. Who wants the handouts?"

    Fixed it for you, cupcake.

    April 17, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. bookgirl

    Vote for Romney and destroy the middle class...go ahead, do it.

    April 17, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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