CNN Poll: Romney favorable rating rebounds
April 17th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 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. Republican Not Voting for Romney

    Doesn't matter, he will not be able to change his image as Mr. Out-of-Touch as he has not done so in 10 years of running for office, so don't expect that to change in 6 months. He will not win general election, plain and simple. Repubs had better try to get better candidates in 2016.

    April 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Tracy W

    Nice CNN! I love how you put Obama's lead on the front page – but when Romney starts getting up there – it's buried. You suck!

    April 17, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. sonia santiago

    you are all dreaming the Repuds think everyone is rich not so don't underestimate obama he will win

    April 17, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. peggy

    I am jumping up and down. This is such exciting news. NOT!l

    April 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. D

    "Meh Romney. Yeah, ok, I guess so ... if I HAVE to."
    good luck with that in November!

    April 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Anthony Stark

    I'll pass.

    April 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. IceMan

    I guess I will just have to stay glued to CNN's website for the next 6 months.

    April 17, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Memz

    It's his wife. Not him.

    April 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Rev. Speats

    Classifying this as "Breaking News" is an asinine as running a headline declaring Romney wears matching shoes.

    April 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. skatealex2

    What CNN wont tell you, is that Ron Paul actually polls against Obama.

    April 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. sonia santiago

    obama will win this election the republicans have buried themselves

    April 17, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Curt29

    Just to let everyone know, there is a link to this on the front page...

    April 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Republican Latino (Salvadorian) voting for Romney

    Obama is not a good president. I do not know how people avoid looking at his record and choose to support him. We strongly, urgently need Mitt. Obama is like a kid that for some reason was able to get into the leading position of a big company, but doesn't know how to control it and choose the right people for the jobs.

    April 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Cameron

    Ron Paul or Obama>Romney The GOP really messed up hard with this nomination, they deserve 2nd place

    April 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Michael

    As a registered Dem, Mitt Romney has my vote!

    April 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. mom4ever

    the media is just aching to bring drama to elections haven't had news on in days

    April 17, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. NotFooledByDistractions

    Romney is the most prolific liar I've ever seen contend for the Presidency. That may be an admirable quality for a used car salesman or a vulture capitalist, but for a President, no thanks. He has no principles or convictions – he just can't be trusted. Which romney should we trust? He speaks too easily from both sides of his mouth.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. K3Citizen

    Seems every time Romney flip flops on past stances his numbers also flip.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. solowd

    Mitt Romney is a corporation.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. ania

    I used to work for Romney, but he fired my entire team. He likes firing people a lot.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Joey

    Whatever... Flip flop flip flop flip flop.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Harry Katz

    I know that some Americans would be very happy to see polls every day (and there WILL be polls every day from now to election day), but this is just pandering... the polls will rise and fall, also almost every day, and we all know that by election day Obama and Romney will probably be no more than 2% apart. Favorability will rise and fall for both of them, again, almost every day. I am so happy I know not to pay any attention to this pablum, until the time comes to pay attention to the polls, which will be the day before election day.

    April 17, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. mfgendron

    This is nothing about a snap shot. Romney's image is much negatives, he may well be the nominee, but he can't hold candle to Obama in all areas. He is flip flopper.

    April 17, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Duane

    Romney is going to win, get ready for it

    April 17, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Mr Mitt Romney almost looks he maybe just like our canadian mr micheal ignative

    April 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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