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. Anonymous

    election date will be the date that matter. talk is can't buy common sense.

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

    In this corner we have 24/7 news with nothing to the other corner we moved a poll number to get your motor racing man...Thank God we don't have moms work real hard,,, so they don't need the same wage,,, their lady ga ga needs to be controlled by white man as other color confused by their gaga inspected prodded no abortion, no pill, and they need to be beat in some states and hold their ground in others,,,what we really need is for them to lose the right to vote as it just speeds things up,,, MITT 2012 the other black guy!

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

    You have to be kidding: This man is so out of touch with regular people, their problems and how to solve them. He is anti women, equal rights for women. You cannot govern what you don't understand.

    April 17, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Bookenz

    I'm uncommitted until he admits whether he wears the magic underwear.

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

    The GSA fraud scandal and the Secret Service hooking scandal couldn't come at a better time. Maybe the White Horse Prophecy is to be fulfilled after all.

    April 17, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Do you mean that a year of negative adds against a candidate can hurt his approval rating? Obama's biggest advisary is his own record.

    April 17, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Romney , five sons who avoided military service , I think not !

    Romney / Bush 2012

    April 17, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. here-we-go-again

    Mitty problem is that the republican party don't like him because he's artificial as they come and a flip-flopper on mostly every issue.

    April 17, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Kelli

    Alexanders...really? If you vote for Romney you are certainly not liberal.

    April 17, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Really obvious points and questions

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

    Fiscal responsibility and the adherence to the rule of law?
    Ok. Done and done.

    April 17, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. AnnaMaria44

    Mr. Romney has the right message for our time: he KNOWS HOW to create jobs.

    April 17, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. elvis costanza

    I knew the public's attention span was short but my God this is a man who has a different position on every issue, every day, and often in the same sentence!
    Politicians know EXACTLY how gullible we are, especially those who have no ideas of their own and can only demonize the opposition with wild claims and scare tactics.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. freedom. . .

    At least obama and china still let us vote. Freak me out it still legal to have more than one child in the USA? Obamacare should be repealed abortion and euhtinasia. Romney's Vice presidential choice could be Rep. Paul Ryan.
    Republicans start getting it in gear for the 2016 is the federal deficite is still over funding your retirement.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Double A

    Polls are all over the place right now. Saw three polls last night that put Romey up 2-4 points over Obama. Who cares right now about polls. All that matters is the first Tuesday in November. If the economy is on fire, then Obama gets reelected. If it is sputtering, he's out. Period!

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. NY Voice

    We know Romney is like a board room meeting techno-bot. Too mechanical, statistical etc. But he is SMART-and experienced. Don't let the left convince you that emasculating someone who's had success in life is the devil incarnate. THEY are the ones who achieve nothing with their divide and conquer hysterics and deception. I see a clear road up ahead for Mitt and I hope he makes the very best of his opportunities, for our sake especially. Open the free market back up and let's prosper once again.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. 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.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. DeeNYC

    And just like the debates during the primaries, as soon as this guy gets on the podium against Obama it's over for him. The GOP has nothing to stand on except it's contempt for the middle class and women.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. josh rogen

    if a president as phony and inept as Obama gets re-elected it means one of 2 things, people are stupid or Romney is.

    April 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Mark

    (Brought to you by the morons who were stupid enough to vote for George W. Bush, not once, but twice – thereby leading to the downfall of our country! Hey! These masterminds really think that ANY of US would want to listen to one thing that comes out of their ignorant mouths after they did that). FOOLS!

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. carly

    It will not help that weather vane Romney. He will lose in November and hopefully take all the right wing nuts in Congress with him.

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. JohnRJohnson

    This is just depressing. That there are that many Americans who actually think this guy is capable of being a decent president is beyond belief. What has he ever said that came close to qualifying him for this job. He has no ideas. No convictions. No honesty. No sense of what is important to more than 99% of the population. It is unbelievable.

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. hogodfrey

    Voting skin color Romney wins. Voting intelligence, Obama wins.

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Really obvious points and questions

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

    Pathological liar or pathological failure...great options...

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Kelli

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

    April 17, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Dave 3000

    Of course he is up 10%...There really is nobody left so the Republicans are going to rally around their candidate... President Obama will be elected again... Former Governor Romney is never going to convince America that he stands for anything but big money and his wife sure is never going to convince anyone she is the "Average American Mom" who knows what its like to search for change in the bottom of her purse...Come on CNN this is not FOX

    April 17, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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