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

    Does anyone actually care about this story? Does anyone actually belive preliminary polls in April have any bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the election? CNN- you're getting worse and worse at this whole news thing. THIS IS NOT NEWS.

    April 17, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. hatcam

    For the sake of this country we can't get Obama out of office fast enough.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Mojo

    Ron Paul is the only hope for beating Mr. Obama. I know I know you think Im crazy or he is crazy or that we both been dringing the Koolaide. BUT. The majority of republicans would vote for a dead manatee before they would vote for Mr. Obama. So who ever has the nomination has that as a lock. The independents and some Democrats could concievably vote for Ron Paul. I think it would be fun to just see him turn it all up on its ear.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jim

    Romney is severely conservative by his own admission.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. DE

    If Romney wins, the middle class loses.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. cdgfla

    She hasn't worked a day in her life. She took care of children, but every working mother does that in addition to her job. This woman lived off Romney's corporate raider cash and never had to earn anything, not once. Its a joke that rosen apologized for saying something that 99.9% of working moms thought already.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. OhioMom2

    One word – Shemus. No Romney does not deserve a second look, anyone who thinks it's okay to put a dog in a crate on top of the family car for 12 hours has a screw loose somewhere. His wife laughed about the incident just last week.

    There's your story.

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Obama is a joke

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Judy

    Romneys spokesperson, "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” Fehrnstrom told CNN’s John Fugelsang. “You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again."

    April 17, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Terry Lopez

    I would be excited to vote for Mickey Mouse if he were the Republican nominee. Anyone but Obama!!!

    April 17, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Donald "ORANGE JULIUS" Trump

    They didn't call me. All his lying about President Obama being responsible for gas prices makes me think Romney is even creepier than before.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. gb33

    So people support Republlcan policies of cut tax and spend, cut tax and grow government. Start Wars. Never actually cut spending, and thier social agenda that is on par with southern evangelical Christians(which as a Chirstian, I feel they are far from God.).

    Keep voting your rights away, while thinking you are voting for the fiscally conservative, individual freedoms party.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Bruce L

    Obama's weakness is fully in evidence from these polls results - people like him personally, but don't think he's doing a terribly good job. You can only hang on to a job so long on that basis, and if Romney can offer a non-threatening alternative, then Obama is gone. I can't vote for either of them, as I regard neither one as qualified for the job (this despite the fact that I have more sympathy for Obama's agenda).

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. hatcam

    We can't get Obama out of office fast enough. Romney, Mickey Mouse, that hot chick on Glee...doesn't matter ...anyone but Obama.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Voice of Reason


    And you're all falling for it.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    Why doesn't CNN show the Gallup Poll released today that shows Romney ahead of Obama?

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. larry5

    A good way to judge Romney's popularity is not the polls. Most polls are run by the liberal media and they can be whatever they want them to be. The way to judge will be how desperate Obama's campaign becomes. He's already stuck his noise into a murder investigation with inappropriate comments and threatened the Supreme Court and there's more to come. His last run for the office only netted him 53% of the votes, not much of a landslide after all the hype generated in that campaign. If you think Obama's going to win by a margin of more than one or two percent then the media is doing a good job. If you want to believe you need look no further. But if you take the time to get away from the media and look around you might just admit that Obama is in real trouble especially if he has to run anywhere near his record of performance in office and his ethics as President. Obama and all his appointees and Czars might just all get swept out of office and out of jobs.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Art

    If Republicans would think about it, Democrats have it going in the right direction, we're creating jobs at a steady pace and economy is picking up believe it or not, stats show business is growing in a lot of sectors, especially medical, airplane engineering and development, education is getting better ratings already, science and investments into science studies has started to grow again, their funding is back, which means the deficit will eventually start to be reduced as money starts flowing in at a faster rate. It makes sense, recovery won't happen over night; quote: "Rome wasn't built in a day", so give it a chance people, if you want to change course and try a Republican method that hasn't worked in the last decade, which got us here in the first place btw... *cough – bush – *cough* (don't get me wrong, I believe Bush believe he had to do what was necessary to protect the country and there hasn't been a single on homeland terrorist attack since, congrats on securing us by putting fear into the hearts of everyone but Americans). Point is, it hasn't worked in the past and more than likely old ways won't work in a world where technology and information is the way to go. What do you think? These are my views, but you may have different views and I respect that, just saying, give him a chance, four more years isn't that long.

    April 17, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    this is going to change over and over again before November so get ready for the yo yo ride

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Sarah

    NO he doesnt! He talks a lot. but doesnt say anything other then women should work and not stay home with children...unless your his wife of course!

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. RositaCA

    Romney DOES NOT HAVE A CHANCE to be our President, one important reason
    DOES NOT HAVE the vote of the AMERICAN doesn't matter what the polls says, WOMEN RULE NOW
    This dude will take us to NO CONTRACEPTIVES, NO EDUCATION, NO ABORTION and most important....NO WOMEN'S RIGHTS OR EQUALITY!!

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. rednaxelat

    If America elects another republican, it will deserve the collapse such terrible judgment would make inevitable. Republicans simply aren't *modern* in any sense of the word. The world is far too dangerous and dynamic for us to afford having people with such out of touch and out of date ideas in charge.

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. speedro

    I don't have time for a witty comment so I will just say it. Mitt Romney is a f @ $ % ing weenie.

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Jeremy

    Mittens. Mittens, Mittens – imagine if America elected a president named Mittens? Seriously this guys is a CAREER politician since the early nineties – the 90's! He has been on ever side of every argument that there has been. I guess if you want all your bases covered (both liberal and conservative), then you would elect him. He doesn't inspire me at all like President Obama continues to do even to this day – all I see is the past. The same past that has led America to where it is now. Are people so soon to forget?

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. DE

    Wait until average Americans hear what Mr. Flip-Flop Etch-a-Sketch Panderer Romney has planned for their taxes. Cut every program, including education, so he can give the rich even larger tax cuts.

    April 17, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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