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. DDSilks

    I just don't see how the American people can re-elect Obama. What has he done??? This country has got to MOVE if we are going to stay afloat! The Chinese are laughing at us while they and Mexico are taking all of our jobs. Can you pick anything up in any store and NOTt see MADE IN CHINA??? Hello?? Get this guy O-U-T !!!

    April 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Allyse

    THis is old news CNN, we already know Romney is doing well. When will you accept Romney's electability ??

    April 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. heloise8

    Reblogged this on The Trough.

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

    I do enjoy that almost every single article I have clicked on today is an opinion article. Sure there are a few facts sprinkled about and a bit of pseudo-journalism, but none of it is actual news. CNN is run by speculators and professional assumers. I feel like I am living in 1984, one day we are fighting Eurasia and the next we are best friends. Who is winning what now? Oh wait your polls are completely unsubstantiated and for all we know completely fabricated? I am sure glad they can see into the future because all I can see is the past.

    April 17, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Tom D

    This article wasn't buried when I read it. At 4:24 EDT, it's the top left article on the front page.

    April 17, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Kent

    Do we really want a man who would tie a dog on the roof of a car and then drive for 12 hours at freeway speeds?
    Do we really want a man who pays 13% income tax on millions of income and complains about high taxes?
    Do we really want a man who thinks government is as simple as business running our country?

    April 17, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Cedar Rapids

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

    why would they bother reporting on Paul when even the Repub voters don't want him?

    April 17, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. jj

    Yesterday, CNN was reporting him down 9 points. Richard Nixon is more believable than CNN!

    April 17, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. sbrad09

    What happened to Obama's 9 pt lead as reported by CNN yesterday?


    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. doveh

    Romney WILL win 4 votes over Obama in NOV FROM THIS HIUSEHOLD - two from my college children who think Obama is a joke.

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Looking for the best person

    If I thought that Romney would do better than Obama I would vote for him in a second but it doesn't look Romney cares about anyone but the wealthy.

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Jose

    @Tracy W Er, Romney poll news is already in CNN home page. It was even listed as Breaking News. Not sure what you're talking about.

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. bill

    the gop is going to screw up romneys chances

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Two and the door for House Republicans!!!

    Wow, I guess the other news outlets felt CNN last poll (mind you it was just yesterday) was just too favorable toward the President and therefore, they will not have nothing to really to make this an exciting election. LOL This crap is so transparent it is ridiculous.

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. IntlPol101

    Not a big believer in polling, but this is good news indeed. Former Governor Romney has wonderful economic and jobs growth plans, he is a true leader.

    April 17, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. PatrickMichael

    Who believes ANY pole that comes from CNN? Please! That's 13% of the population...

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Bernie Bucho

    I love how all you people fall right in line with two parties that do absolutely nothing for you. Politics is nothing more than two fraternities competing for the prize at a toga party. Take the bait again and drink the kool-aid America. My vote goes to congressional term limits and a 4 or 5 party system.

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Mark Purcell

    To be honest how did this guy become a millionaire? After hearing about the dog illegally being on top of the car for joy rides and flip flop on woman and issues. Also his wife raised five boys but face it who cleaned up after them. The Maid maybe? Was there a nanny involved when needed. These are things completely different from an average mother that raises kids who doesn't have help and works a full time job as a woman welder or plant worker. ow about that mother raising children on a dollar store salary but she has a college degree. This is why they are out of touch. This is why the Romney family cannot compare themselves to an average family. Some of the things I hear come from Mitt Romney on what he will do as president is frighting. People, listen! Don't look at republican or democrat. Pick the one truly suited for the presidency. Kind of makes you want an independent running. When it comes to the republican party though. Sorry they are being to weird and scary this time around. Put poor children to work after school. Space station on the moon when we can't do that financially yet. Not getting illegal aliens of the SSI system draining our taxes. I can go on and on. Blah,blah,blah

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Tom Picciani

    This is what we call a Dead Cat Bounce. He's having a brief moment of popularity before someone in his organization drops another egg.

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. rand

    Like the weather........... just wait a day and one poll that puts Obama ahead one day will be trumped by the next days poll that puts Romney ahead...............

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. nibiro

    Naval battle night will be overcome,
    Fire in the ships to the West ruin:
    New trick, the great ship colored,
    Anger to the vanquished, and victory in a drizzle.


    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Dave

    Tracy W – looks like it's on the front page to me. You suck.

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Terry, Aspen, Co

    CNN audience is about 70 /30 democratic to republican so everything you poll or ask a question about comes out with that heavily weighted audience profile. Your polls are truthfully worth less because they always reflect the political makeup of your audience. It seems so tedius and boring when you as, for instance whose in favor of the " Buffet Rule."
    Can you guess ahead of time who is? We can? If you want to generate some valuable information poll likely voters and froget about your audience. No body cares to profile your audience over, and over, and over, again! Please!

    April 17, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Jim

    Romney is severely conservative by his own admission.

    are people.”

    “I like being
    able to fire people.”

    “I was a
    severely conservative republican governor.”

    “I believe the
    supreme court should overturn Roe v. Wade.”

    “I am going to
    get rid of Planned Parenthood.”

    “Don’t help
    families going through foreclosure, let them hit the bottom.”

    course I support the Blunt amendment (banning or allowing employers to ban
    providing female contraception.”

    “That is
    exactly what I said, Let Detroit go bankrupt.”

    “It is my view
    that withdrawing all the troops from Iraq is unfortunate. It is more than unfortunate, I think it is

    “I will repeal

    “I will veto
    the Dream Act.”

    “I support the Ryan plan.
    (the end of medicare as we know it”

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. doveh

    Where are jobs, MR OBAMA?

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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