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. NudeTruth

    Still won't for vote him, I won't vote for Obama either.

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

    If the economy rebounds and gas prices fall, Obama will take the election in a landslide victory. But if the economy continues to remain stagnant, then it will be Romney's election to lose!

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. oh_well

    It's amazing how the media decides this stuff.

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Red Pison

    Mitt Romney represents everything that is wrong with America. He's a walking corporation, he has admitted that he enjoys firing people and it's blindly obvious he only cares about the 1% wealthiest people in this country. Now I don't want the government holding my hand to help me along in life either, but I don't want the top wealthiest people to get a break when they don't even need it. Everyone in America deserves a chance at success and to live comfortably at all levels in life. What Romney and the GOP promise are no more fair chances.

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. PatrickMichael

    Obama is just as much a flip flopper as Romney.. And please show me some positives to Obama.. Enlighten me!

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. RolledByPolls

    New polls will come out every week to drive the news. It is about the questions, HOW they are asked, and WHO is part of the sampling. The news will make up a poll to make up a headline – let's all wake up and get to the issues!

    April 17, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. susan

    Hilary Rosen of CNN is stupid! Mrs. Romney had 5 boys, 5 to raise! Plus she has Mulitple Sclorosis, so maybe she should try walking in someone else's shoes before judging someone. I'm sure she have no idea what she's talking about, because raising kids is a full time job.

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Steve

    How can anyone have a favorable view of a racist, anti-Semitic, nation splitting Obama?

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Just Me

    I dismiss everyone of these polls regardless of what they show. Here's why? The pollsters believe that we Americans are schizophrenic who change their minds depending on which way the political winds blow. They insult us each time with these polls after an event as if we are all nilly willy and without conviction. I do not believe the American people are that simply. Sure some of can can be manipulated by the media, but when it is all said and done, when we make up our minds, it's preety much a done deal. We are not kids who if you brandish a lollipop in front of us, we will say and do anything to have it.

    So, I ignore the polls even when they are good news for the candidate I may be supporting. The only polls that truly counts in the one on Election Day. And that's the poll that I will certainly let the pollsters know exactly how I feel.

    By the way, CNN is all over the place with these breaking news stories about Presidential polls. Yesterday, they had the President up by 9 points on Robney, now all of a sudden in 24 hours Robney favorability ratings are on the rise. Make up your minds CNN. You are all over the place and your intention appears suspect.

    One last thing, Americans are busy working to keep a roof over their heads, and food on the table. They are not paying attention to this election as of yet. Come late summer, that would change, but please stop trying to force us to pay attention to something that we are not interested in right now. We have more important things to worry about in April.

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Terry

    Attention CNN: Why is it you never ask me a Poll Question? Mitt Romney and the Mormon Church will even "Flip – Flop" on their challenges to the Gay Marriage Act. I do not trust Romney or his church. Why is it that the majority of Republican Members of the House and Senate have not lined up behind Romney?

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Rich B

    Horrible choice. I hope that Ron Paul makes the ballot....he's got my vote. If he doesn't – I'll vote for anyone other than Lowbama or Mitt. If this is the best we can do in this country, we may as well pee on the fire and call the's pretty much over for democracy.

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Schweaty Balls

    Only a little over 6 more months and we can finally say "President Elect Romney." Anybody but Obama!

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. mfx3

    Running for President is all about demonstrating the ability to make decisions that are good for the country. Romney hangs his hat on a GOP nail, which tells you everything you need to know about his ability to make good decisions for this country. Enjoy the attention while it lasts, Mitt. It won't last beyond November.

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Two Cadillacs

    Yeah, sure. Until the commercials start up: "Corporations are people, friend" etc.

    April 17, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Leave it to Democrats to screw themselves this early in the general election. They're still a "political party"?

    April 17, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. MTATL67

    Not among women or minorities

    April 17, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Kyle

    Why are we letting the media declare the winner of the republican primary before the convention? Is this bothering anyone else?

    April 17, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. ptsdLOADING

    Watch Mitt, he'll drop it like its HOT!

    April 17, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. lancelotlink

    Enjoy the govt cheese while you can libetards !

    April 17, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. orion7x

    These solar flares must be burning that brain cells of everyone. There is no merit with this guy. Everything he says is a lie and it changes daily. You can lead people to knowledge but you can't make them accept it.

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. matt

    But wait a tick CNN. Did not your "poll" give Obama a 8 point edge just yesterday? Fishy!

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. alex

    The polls were conducted nation wide. But the Election will be decided by a few states – OH, PA, VA, FL, CO, MI and a few others. Given Mitts stand on Auto Bail outs and issues with Women, and Latinos.. There is NO way Romney can win.

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. oh_well

    He couldn't do it last time around. Why is he suddenly wonderful?

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. AB

    CNN's prior polls have been heavily skewed towards Democrats relative to other polls (no surprise). This is why their prior polls showed Obama beating Romney by 9 points for example, while most other polls have Obama trailing Romney. For example most polls found that Obama's approval rating has hovered between 40%-48%, while the CNN polls had Obama's favorable rating close to 60%. So if you poll 1000 people who have a 60% favorable view towards Obama – most likely among those voters, Obama will be beating Romney. That is not a very accurate poll however, because it contradicts the national approval rating for our President.

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. BB

    1,015 people were questioned by telephone. Nobody called me.
    Obama 2012

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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