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. Dee

    also: "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."

    and he said no Pres since truman has won with less than 50pct approval? well OBAMA IS ABOUT TO BREAK THAT TREND! and in 2050, we'll look back and say that Obama was the last!

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. joe

    just because he is the only "logical" and I use that term so loosely here, logical choice, doesn't mean anyone in their right mind has to vote for this out of touch idiot.

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Jack

    Anyone that votes a republican in office gets exactly what they deserve.

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Dee

    approval at 50pct or not.. people at the polls think of one thing.. "Do I like the guy or not?"

    April 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Mike Bertrand

    He's not unlike Newt....the closer you look, the worse he gets! Considering the nation has two people to choose from, a much closer look is in order.

    April 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. JD

    lets see.... 92% of the jobs lost were lost by woman in the last three years? really?? for a guy who says he can put this economy back together, does he know how to do math and hype and scare tactics.

    April 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Sheri Lee

    Yes Fear over Hope anyday.

    April 17, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Independent

    Lenny Pincus – You “independent” belong to the 39%. “The crucial voting bloc of independents breaks toward Romney by 45% to 39%, giving the GOP challenger his slight overall edge” – Gallup poll.

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

    Rick:
    When the government starts to take people under their wing and support them, they lose their drive to be independent. They make government support their career. That comparison is exactly the same thing Democrats do for society. Take from the people who are working and give it to the ones who are not instead of making it possible for the ones not working to get jobs.

    April 17, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. aja2007

    As long as their is a "change" in Nov. I'll be happy.

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

    The leadership of the GOP has waged a negative campaign against President Obama for three and one half years. It is no wonder that his approval rating is low. The leadership of the GOP has engaged in name calling, some have acted like thugs, engaging in obstructionism, threatening the economy and welfare of an entire nation. What for? Do they seriously believe that President Obama is a socialist? Did he did create any of the social welfare programs, like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid on which tens of millions rely?

    Does the GOP leadership really believe that its programs will produce more jobs, promote an ever rising tide which will lift the middle class and poor? Let's look at history.

    Since 1980, two administrations have been successful in creating jobs and assisting with the improvement of the economy. Reagan and Clinton. Each of these Presidents raised taxes and the middle class benefitted. Bush lowered taxes and the rich got richer while the middle class lost ground. The money which the rich earned during the Bush era has not been reinvested. Trickledown did not work and the theory behind the Laffer curve, once touted by the GOP, has been abandoned for a new theory which has yet to be defined.

    April 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. ctguy

    A.b.o. Anyone but obama

    April 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Leroy Linux

    Anyone taking a second look will see that

    a) he became a multimillionaire putting people out of work,
    b) he is a mean, arrogant man, who cares about noone by himself
    c) he wants to start a war with Iran
    d) he wants to lower taxes on millionaires while cutting programs for the poor and disabled

    Pray that he loses to Obama in November.

    April 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Kelli

    Hi, my name is Mitt Romney. I believe in personal freedoms. That is why gays can't marry, you can't smoke pot and ladies...you shouldn't have the right to choose. yep, I stand for personal freedoms.

    April 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. ficheye

    I guess Romney has to win to prove to the goofball conservatives that the road to hell is paved with the stones of their own fantasies. If you think Obama is bad, just wait until this guy turns this country into an all out monarchy. People may actually want to impeach him after the first few months. He is not the lesser of two evils.

    April 17, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. NJBob

    Romney is a pathological liar. I don't want him anywhere near the White House.

    April 17, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Tundra

    Today he deserves a second look yesterday he was wasting his time because Obama had a huge advantage. CNN is playing tennis so that people keep reading.

    April 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. imputt

    Non stop partisan balloney from mainstream media in spite of the facts

    April 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. batjones

    Why does CNN cloud the ratings for Mrs. Romney – "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."

    Using this quote from the article, why didn't CNN simply state that Mrs. Romney's approval rating was 40%; her unfavorable rate was 20%; and those with no-opinion was 40%. Apparently CNN has been around political spin masters too much. CNN please be consistent in your reporting. How are readers supposed to gain a proper indication of the the daily, weekly, monthly trends from these non-indicative polls?

    April 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Alexanders

    I will give Romney a second chance. I voted for Obama last time but, not again. He has done nothing for this country. I'm very done with his b.s. nicely talks. I"m liberal and this time I will vote for Romney he has what it takes to be a president and a good one.

    April 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    It's rebounding because aside from having nowhere to go but up (in the first place), anyone who is Republican will have to learn to love Mittens, just as Dems had to learn to love John Kerry in 2004.

    April 17, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. NJBob

    Romney never told the truth in his life. I wouldn't vote for him in a thousand years.

    April 17, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Terry

    This election isn’t so much about the politicians, as it is about YOU, and how you want to live your life. The Democrats think you are a helpless loser, in need of handouts. Do you agree with that? Or would you rather be strong and successful? If so, get an education, work hard, become successful, and don’t vote for the party that treats you like a Loser. If we are all strong and successful, this country can be great again. A great country is not full of whiney losers.

    April 17, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. John

    Romney is a loser now and will continue to be a loser in November. He does not need to worry about packing his bags. He will not be going anywhere near the WH.

    April 17, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Devon

    I personally couldn't care less about who is going improve our economy the most. I want a president who does the right thing regardless of it being a good business decision, and I know that is not Romney.

    April 17, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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