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. Johnjon

    but, but, but..................... Gingrich hasn't dropped out yet. he's still got a chance!

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. valwayne

    Gov Romney's favorability ratings were down in the middle of a knock down drag out primary fight. Democrats of course didn't like him and Republicans supporting his opponents at the time probalby didn't either. The democrats and the left wing media made a lot of it, but now we see where we are really at. Obama is simply the most arrogant, and worst peforming President in U.S. history. Four more years of Obama and his corrupt spending and nation destroying debt and our nation will be pushed into permanent decline. Gov Romney has the experience to repair the terrible damage and restore growth and jobs to our nation!

    April 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. CNN

    Why do we even need a president? Why can't we just let Apple run the country?

    April 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. NickAnast

    At some point, Rmoney is going to have to give voters a positive reason to vote FOR him, as opposed to just voting against Obama. He hasn't come up with anything yet, despite his 6-year campaign for the presidency.

    April 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Independent

    “A national poll conducted March 25-26, showed Obama with a slight 49% to 45% lead over Romney. Mitt Romney is supported by 47% of national registered voters and Barack Obama by 45% in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking results from April 11-15” – Gallup polls. Apr 12-16, Romney 48% vs Obama 43%. Since March 25th Obama lost 6% which is beyond the margin of error. There is a clear trend and Obama is done.

    April 17, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. w2lucky

    Romney is to Democrats what Al Gore was to Republicans.

    April 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Of course Mr. and Mrs. Romney will run the country, they already represent all the gun owners of America. Seeing BOTH Mr. and Mrs. Romney lead the NRA Convention sealed the deal (and a gun-promoting VP (Sarah)) would only put the cherry on the on the whole glop (my families name for ice cream sundaes). Right now, my daughter is pestering to buy a gun to protect herself and her family. It's about time women are recognized as responsible as male gun owners when it comes to taking care of their families and standing their ground. I saw Mrs. Romney at a baseball game, I hope she was carrying a weapon. After all, many sporting events turn violent and a woman would be the best to decide whether or not to pull a gun. I would like to see all women invited to bring a loaded gun to any sporting event. It would go a long way toward protecting their boyfriends, husbands, children and all the other folks at the sports venue. Thank you Mrs. Romney for giving women the courage to demand their gun carry rights.

    April 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. zip

    So the GOP answer is a diaper wearing cult member?? God, that's funy!!

    April 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. John B.

    He's more favorable now? Well my only choice now is the guy I didn't like before but I've got to vote for my party so now I like him.

    Sounds about right. Our 2 party system is a joke.

    April 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. As normal

    A Black President sucks over a Millionaire.. As normal shows how Americans forget the past. Enough said.

    April 17, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Kyle

    this is garbage – how about you report Rasmussen's poll on who would be Obama from the Republicans and mention Ron Paul. You guys don't know how to report anything. Gloria Borger or Jon King's wife probably put these numbers together.

    April 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Rick

    Steve: If you think that ridiculously inappropriate analogy is in any way accurate or intelligent I pity you. Comparing someone's GPA with giving people who need food, clothing and shelter is absurd. And assuming that everyone who is not well off is lazy is absolutely preposterous. It's almost as preposterous as believing that the well off became well off because they worked hard. While some did, the majority worked no harder than everyone else. They simply had a head start or were lucky in MANY cases. A more appropriate analogy might be to say that the poorer student was such simply because she was not as intelligent. In that case, the daughter, if she was a christian or simply goodhearted, might actually have been willing to give the other girl some of her GPA. If this disingenuous story is what passes for logic in the GOP I can see why they are generally detested by those with a heart and with intelligence.

    April 17, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Ya know, polls from a liberal network that unquestionably and blindly supports Obama, such as CNN, will use polls showing him leading Romney. A conservative network, such as FOX, will show polls that show Romney leading Obama. So, instead of believing polls, I listen to people and so far, it seems that everyone feels that Obama talked a good game and there were such high hopes with the first nonCaucasian President. Those hopes, however, have been dashed with the majority of people recognizing that Obama is a complete failure and the belief that his vision is to feed his narcissism and the hell with Americans and the United States. He is a divider, not a united as his comments on race, recent and not so recent, demonstrate his own racism – against non-blacks.

    April 17, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Trey

    Liberal: "This cnn poll is hardly accurate... but wait yesterday we were saying that the poll that had Obama ahead was great..."

    Conservative: "This cnn poll is completely accurate... but wait yesterday we were saying that the poll that had Obama ahead was horrible..."

    April 17, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. TexDoc

    I was against Obama, before being against Obama was cool.

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. VTguy

    This poll is about as credible as a Fox news poll.

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Mslisa

    I just love how people hate people with money... This man is smart and earned his income... Obama lied his way into the White House and never did anything other than write a dumb little book. We should be gald to see someone who knows how to earn money and not just spend it.

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Steve

    Obama was only able to get Bin Laden because of policies that werte put into place by Bush.

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    More favorable? To whom? The rich? Any middle class person voting for him has to have their head examined? Women too!

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Austin

    Its too bad RON PAUL isn't running for President, yes that's right RON PAUL fans your candidate does not get reported on because RON PAUL never makes the news or ever gets noticed for being RON PAUL. RON PAUL.

    April 17, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. ladyfon

    In response to winstonsmith
    To the "anyone but Obama" people... how exactly is Romney any different than Romney, and how are those differences better for the country?

    All good politicians change their views every now in then. Democrats were formerly pro-slavery. See some change is good, quit being so narrowminded.

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

    Any middle class person finding him more favorable have to have their head examined.

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

    @Terry

    Mhm. Keep telling yourself that. Good luck.

    April 17, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Seattle Sue

    Mitt will always be a zero to me.

    April 17, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. DT

    mj,,,,,,,,,Geezzzz you people dont read a thing do you, Re: Algae..........If that happens the President will be in Strong company. EXXON the OIL COMPANY , OK mj do you know about those guys, one of the Largest Companies on the face of the EARTH, again DO YOU READ, EXXON IS PUTTING A LOUSEY $800 MILLION INTO ALGAE WITH MOST OF FOCUSED ON PROVIDED FUELS FOR THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, HEY mj ..........YOU EVER HEARD OF
    NATIONAL SECURITY....?????????? PROBABLY NOT.........YOU DON'T READ........

    April 17, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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