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. longshot

    I love the people that blame Obama but have to grasp of economics or specific policies and their impacts. Romney and the GOP policies will raise the debt even more than the Dem's budget and at the same time further stagnate the economy.

    April 17, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. a cut above the rest

    Well, Well, WELL, CNN! Isn't this an interesting find 24 hours later from your silly democrat poll findings that Obama was 9 points over Mitt?

    You're a crooked, lousy liberal Network, CNN-Anyone with half a brain would know that.

    Funny how you're trying to save face!

    April 17, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. ArtVandely

    One thing for sure..... Obama is ONE and DONE!!! This country is growing tired of how this man is distroying this nation. Romney will make a GREAT President.

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Steve

    People haven't had a chance yet to enjoy the re-runs of all the extremist trash Mitt recited to appeal to the far right, or all the reruns of him contradicting himself from one day to the next.

    Give them time to get disillusioned once again.

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Name judi

    i luv obama, he will win

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Blue Collar Worker

    I will never vot for anyone that wants to be President with offshore accounts. Release your past tax returns Romney what are you hiding.
    Y=YOURS THE Presidency is not for SALE

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. john

    Gotta keep stoking that ratings fire...wouldn't want it to look too easy either way...nobody would tune in...Romney's an empty suit, nothing more, the wealthy want him in office so badly, they can taste it!!!

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. grafixer

    So, we've been watching this millionaire buy his way through the process... and now we should give him a "second look"?? He's made it clear that he only represents the top rich, and that he has no "issues" to run on – other than bashing whomever the opponent is. He doesn't need a second look. We all still see the "millionaire" that will support his "buddies". I'm sure the GOP will all get behind him now... and that they will continue to do their best to keep the economy stalled, and give more tax cuts and breaks to the top rich – while cutting whatever they can that serves the middle class, poor, children and seniors. After all... That is what the GOP does now. This is not Regan's GOP. This is Cheney's GOP. CHENEY'S!!

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Paul

    Typical women always forgetting. They will be the first one to cry when he yanks there birth control lol

    April 17, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Dav

    The failure of obama has garenteed the next president will be Mitt Romney.Bye comrade obama

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Steve

    6.5 months to go. Until then, whatever.

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. sativa619

    Romey, and his supporters are FOOLS.

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. spotty66

    How does a 1000 person Poll really determine anything????????

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |

    @NotFooled......PROOOOF!!! You are full of it, how is he a liar, where is the proof, sources, facts, etc? Give it up we are not buying your STORY anymore! NOT ONE of you on here claiming he is a liar has any PROOF!

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. kate

    The economy is not stagnant. I'm self employed and so is my husband and our business are finally moving. I had my best sales ever this last Christmas. Don't believe the lies. My unemployed friends now have fabulous jobs.
    OBAMA 2012!

    April 17, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. David B

    We already know the right does not think well of a man whose Grandfather lived illegally in a foreign country, started the basis for National healthcare, and is a non-Christian.....I know that is what they say about Obama, but I'm actually talking about Romney. So if my choice is between the liberal who stands behind his policies, or the liberal who has to pander to Republicans and disavow his own policies, I'm gonna go for the guy who is ..I don't know HONEST!

    April 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. pmn

    This race will definitely have favoritaibility bouncing up and down like a yoyo between GOP and democrat candidates. I would like to have someone who can provide good business sense and understanding of economics when running this country. My confidence in either candidate is uncertain but definitely Obama has not demonstrated strength in his abilities. Its a hard job but the American people want to see results not a worse situation in what we were in 4 years ago.

    April 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. TonyInNYC

    Even one day is an eternity in politics. November is eons from now.

    April 17, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. jeremy

    a Mormon in the white house!?

    research Mormonism and tell me you still want that man in the white house.

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. lloydagencies

    Ron Paul?

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Anca

    Good Luck Mitt! We Love you! Anca and the rest
    We was in America for Easter and specially for you and republicans!
    Christ is Risen!
    Good Luck America!

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Bardfast

    “The dog loved it!”
    -Ann Romney, 16 April, 2012, telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer that their dog, Seamus, “loved” the 12hr road trip strapped to the top of their car.

    Evidently Ann Romney thinks animals defecating themselves out of terror is a sign of unbridled happiness.

    These people aren’t wired correctly.

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. sharoom

    Well tickle me pink, conservative evangelicals have no other choice than a Mormon come November.

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Jtcnntoday

    WOW Obama

    April 17, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. luckjoe

    Romney 2012!

    April 17, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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