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. Jerry


    Maybe because RON PAUL doesn't have a CHANCE in HELL?

    April 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Lenny Pincus

    Arrogance is claiming you are capable of analyzing the relative worthiness of American presidents. You goofballs who keep repeating "the worst president ever" are ridiculous.

    April 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. QMAX1234

    Being an independent, I could never vote for Romney, the idea that republicans are those who work hard, get an education and are successful is laughable. We're talking about the same party that use and abuse the markets to markets to make money at the expense of others. That's stealing not working hard. And I work at a financial exchange so I know how these people operate!

    April 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. bkgrandma

    @Matt Mattson You better hope Romney doesn't win because he wants to cut the education department and YOU need to go back to school and learn the difference between hear and here. And speaking of racists...look in the mirror and you'll see one.

    April 17, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Bootstomper

    Squash Romney 2012!

    April 17, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. polycarp pio

    It doesnt matter which one gets elected, this nation is in big trouble and neither will get us out of it..... PP

    April 17, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Steve

    There was a Republican who was running for office. And he came to a very Democratic town, and he went to this
    house the ladies son opens the door, and the Republican says, "Hi, I am so-and so, and I am running for the Republican
    office." And the kid says "Can you hold on a second sir? I have to go get my mother, she has never seen a Republican

    So the Represenative stands on a mound of what the lady has been trying for 30 years to get her husband ro call
    fertilizer. And he makes his speech, and the woman says to him, "Wow that is the first time I have ever heard a
    Republican speech before."

    And the Representive, tells the lady, "Well, ma'am that is the first time, I have given a Republican speech from a
    Democratic platform."

    April 17, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. DG

    Please don't vote those evil Republicons back into office. Clinton left Bush and the evil Republicons a huge surplus, $1.30 gal gas, 23 million new jobs created, stock market close to 12,000, and Bush and the evil Republicons squandered all this to help their wealthy cronies get wealthier on the backs of the middle class. They drove our precious country into the ground. Obama and the dems are doing a fantastic job in reversing the total devastation and destruction of our economy left to Obama by Bush and those evil Republicons.

    April 17, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Independent

    Talk is cheap when you are a Presidential candidate and can criticize freely without really having to come up with a solution and have to get it past a gridlocked Congress. Romney may be surprised that you do not get a Magic Wand when elected President to magically make things happen! Romney has no more power than Obama to control gas prices or other economic issues that are basically out of his control.
    Had been President he would have let "free market forces" put GM and Chrysler out of business. The recession we had was tame compared to what it would have been if these automakers went under (with their associated suppliers). According to Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, the auto industry supports one of every 10 jobs in the United States,” The statistic seems to indicate that 10 percent of American jobs – a total of roughly 14 million jobs. So much for Romney's idea of job creation!!!!

    April 17, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Noise Chamber

    I say we elect GUNS for president! Then everyone will be safe!

    This is an article about Romney, so let me use it to voice my ill-informed, semi-rational, fully-paranoid, racially-based list of things I hate about Obama.

    When Carter was president, the price of peanuts doubled. When Reagan was president, the price of movie tickets doubled. When Bush was president, the price of gasoline doubled.

    If Romney becomes president, the price of plastic and waffles will double.

    April 17, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. barbraS

    OMG CNN! Are we going to have to put up with these "Breaking News" polls every day from now until the election? You're going to drive us even crazier. Give us a rest of at least a week between "Breaking News" polls! It's really not that important at this stage in the election. Jeez!

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

    The news media trying to turn it it into a horse race. What's knew??? Here's another one of their games...."America's first BLACK president". GRAB A CLUE : he's as much WHITE as he is BLACK. That is a FACT!!

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

    So the answer is a draft dodging, diaper wearing cult member? What's so appealing, the extra wives?

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

    Mitt will do the right thing, Create Jobs for China, Give more tax breaks for the rich. Attack Iran and start world War 3. The Christian conservatives believe an all out nuclear war will bring back Jesus Christ.

    April 17, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Wile E Coyote

    He got his bounce now that Republicans that really their wanted their OTHER candidates have jumped on board just because they hate Obama, but make no mistake this guy is going to lose in November. However, I do believe it will be closer than anyone thinks.

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

    NickAnast – No Romney does not have to. Obama did not. All he did was to blame Bush for everything that went wrong in this planet. Now all Romney has to do is to keep pointing out Obama’s terrible record and walk into the WH.

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

    The survey indicates that Romney's popularity still lags well behind President Barack Obama's: 56% have a favorable view of the president

    and that's all that matter to me! OBAMA 2012! 300+ Electoral VOTES! LETS GO!

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

    Favorable...I have a favorable view of Obama as my lawyer.

    April 17, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. William

    The type of CEO most Americans workers despise. Romney and the Wealthy are Job Controllers in a Healthy economy the American workers are the Job Creators. Place jobs outside of the country and it will controls wages. See all that stuff from China in Wal-Mart then Google: Bush Family ties to China. Google: The Business Plot Prescott Bush and Google: The bush family and Nazi Germany. Romney has GHW Bush endorsement. GW Bush is staying Low.

    April 17, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Jason

    Romney is and was never a capitalist, just a thug. How he made his money partially inherited and partially he bought companies that had workers pension fund then he raided that fund exported the jobs and ran away with the money. Its like stealing from your grandma and the GOP wishes to re-run this circus across America. I would say no thanks take your drama else where. GOP is against everything America stands for; the cancer that is killing america. Last 30 years most of it GOP rule and America has declined to its lowest level. We all have freedom of choice so choose wisely because if you don't there might not be a country left to vote for.

    April 17, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Another Lady


    There is no way in hell I will be forced to vote for Romney.

    Ron Paul gets my vote. I do like Obama and voted for him in 2008, but this year I am going for Ron Paul, mostly because of his foreign policy and economic policy plan. It does not matter if he isn't listed as the big ol' candidate to go against Obama. Romney is a phoney and a flip-flopper. I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, do not feel he would be good as our President. I want a humble person who doesn't need multiple homes, millions of dollars, and fancy cars for President. And I respect Ron Paul as he is a OB/GYN AND is a war veteran.

    What I don't understand is how someone can vote for someone not for moral reasons, but instead only for the fact that they want the current president out of office. The fact one can be so hateful toward a President (one who has been faithful to our country and to his family, mind you), that they will jump on a bandwagon of supporting the popular kid who may not represent how that voter actually feels. Obama is not perfect and can't do EVERYTHING, as he is not a dictator, but you should still respect the man. Seriously though- voting for Romney only because you feel he's the only one to beat Obama, and that's your biggest concern? That just blows my mind.

    You can ALWAYS write someone in and stand up for what you believe in. This is America, baby. Represent.

    April 17, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. Sheri Lee

    Of course those against Obamacare will vote for Romney. Since Obamacare was written after Romney's and his will be just what the country needs. Plus Romney will do well by creating more Jobs for China. And he will do the right thing by attacking Iran. And starting world war 3, to support the christian Conservatives agenda. Since they believe an all out Nuclear war will bring back the return of Jesus Christ.

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

    Anyone voting a repblican in office gets exactly what they deserve.

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Lolo

    Are these republicans crazy or what? They have the nerve to say that the Democratic Party is whiney and talk about religion and such when they are the whiners and can't help themselves with the name calling. Ever since President Obama was elected he has been called everything but a child of God by the republicans, They run around toting their guns at his speech rallies, he is a socialist, communist, un-christian, nazi, un-american just to name a few. Looks like the pot is calling the kettle black to me. They do not like Romney, but if he can beat the black man (which he will not) they will vote for him. Now who is the phony party? I'll be darn if I would be told to tow the line and vote for someone I do not like. As for whiney they must have been talking about John Boehner, because he cries at the drop of a hat. No one is crying foul more than the republican party. Such sore losers. Mitt will go in the history books along with John Mcain as the longest runnning candidates for the presidency and lost both times.

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. QS

    "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."

    In other words, the public will be receptive to the etch-a-sketch candidate looking to erase all of the positions taken during the primaries? Okay.

    April 17, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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