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. zip

    Is America really ready for a diaper wearing cult member?

    April 17, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Allyse

    I love reading the dems comments in here. So cute.

    Id be worried too if my man was Obama

    April 17, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I'm pretty liberal, but I'm glad Romney is going up in the polls. That means Obama will have to fight harder for another term. Guantanamo is still open and he endorsed assassinating Americans abroad. As far as I'm concerned, Obama is the same as Bush. No idea who I will vote for. I do hope there will be a 3rd party candidate. This is what we call "Democracy" in the U.S. Other countries have WAY more choices and not only 2 like we do.

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

    Looking back at the last 12 years: things were fine when Clinton left. [Not because of anything Clinton did; he just got lucky.] Then, after 9/11, the complete idiot Bush started a pointless war, and let the economy fall apart. Obama ended that war, started another war, failed to fix the economy, and passed some silly health care plan. So, now we can either vote for more Obama ineffectiveness; or vote for a proven businessman who has the best chance of anyone to turn our economy around. Romney will probably be a much better leader than either Bush or Obama. If not, we’ll pick someone else in 4 years.

    April 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. abcdxyz

    The problem with President Obama is that he is just too darn intelligent and interested in the well-being of the average citizen. Let's get somebody in there who can give his own class more tax breaks so that they can create jobs (in China) and get the economy moving again (in India).

    April 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. D

    This guys a sock puppet, and the GOP has their hand stuffed tight. He doesn't take any stand on any issue and simply repeats what people want to hear. Will say it again folks, it's a religious thing..this guy represents the true antichrist (gop leadership). I wish more republicans would actually read what the bible teaches about their 'religious' leaders denying their followers the kingdom of heaven.

    April 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Big George in Big D

    Ah Rosita – are you in for a rude awakening. YOU may not like Romney but my wife and all of her friends, etc., and so on and so forth like the hell out of him! Obama – one and done!

    April 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. winstonsmith

    To the "anyone but Obama" people... how exactly is Romney any different than Romney, and how are those differences better for the country?

    April 17, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. lyad

    You know what? President Obama should say, "the heck with these people', retire and walk away from this mess. No matter what he does he will be condemned for it. Mr. Romney, can then stuff this country's problems, people's prejudices and extremism down his throat and see how he likes it. Of course it will not matter to him no matter how successful or unsuccessful he is since he is a multi-millionaire. The people who vote for him and the GOP DESERVE HIM!!!!

    April 17, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. ty

    he is till a lying ...and yes i mean DELIBERATE...liar and panders to whatever group he is speaking to. he is not just unfit to be president but will endanger this country if elected. god save us from the GOP and their fraudulent romney!

    April 17, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Fish

    A vote for Romney is a vote to kill our nation. He hasn't any plan other than let his cronies sell off what's left after W's Pillaging.

    April 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Kyon

    no difference between the two candidates except Romney might sell Alaska to appease some countries. We don't know what he believes in. He could be a mental case.

    April 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Lola

    Barack Obama has done very well, particularly considering the colossal mess he was left with. Vote for Romney, or any Republican, for that matter, and count yourself as one who never learns.

    The Republicans are narrowing the market on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. They claim the exact opposite, cloaking those claims in religious fanaticism, so as to get votes from the very people whom they seek to keep out of the market; look at their anti-everything legislation as evidence.

    If you don't see this, you're stupid. Period. You deserve to go off the cliff. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

    April 17, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Jo

    Romney is actually a very likable guy, though he hasn't presented himself that well in this "personal" feel yet. He is definitely the one who has better insight into how the economy works in real life and has demonstrated he can fix it! 🙂

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. ty

    romney is not a job CREATOR..he destroyed jobs . he IS a money maker for his cronies...and the inside bois but that does not help america

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Patriot Awesome

    I'm very excited for the presidential debates. Obama is going to crush Romney, due to the simple fact that he's flip flopped so much he won't be able to keep any of his stories straight.

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Libs 4 Mitt!

    Liberals for Mitt! We need to see through the Obama smoke a mirrors and realize that he is leading us nowhere.

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. me

    Well of course he's favorable, he's sort of like Obama and you people don't think Obama's doing a fast enough job so why not Romney?

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Steve

    Republican policies under Bush resulted in largest Recession ever but the Republicans have learned their lesson. Trust them to do the right thing this time and not make everything worse like they did under G.W.Bush................and H.W. Bush.............................and Reagan. The three men responsible for 10 Trillion of the current debt.

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Refudiator

    The GOP counts on votes from three factions; the rich, fundamentalists and the under-educated.
    Education is Kryptonite to the GOP. Support education and we can beat this disease!

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Jason

    The reason his favorability is increasing is that there has been enough time passed since the last debate that people forgot what he truly favors and sounds like when having an actual conversation vs political stumping. Once the debates fire up he will look completely unprepared and voters will easily recognize this.

    April 17, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    This guy just is just creeeepppppyyyyy! What is it about him that just gives everybody that eeewwwww factor.

    April 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Patricksday

    The Corporations Hope for an even profitable bottom line, while the majority of the American people will get the crumbs, with a silly Robot like Romney, a man with no Heart or Soul, only a servant to the very Wealthy like he is. Ann Coulter was right- Romney will loose in November, he is someone you cant believe or Trust, unless you are making over $250,000 a year.

    April 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. woodofpine

    The GOP trashs the economy and foreign policy, a black Democrat pulls the economy back from the brink, ends the Irag War AND kills the bad guy – but 'has been' gun rocker Nugent endorses Romney. FUNNY – Illinois has more gun friendly laws than Mass... But that's how the GOP and their wing nuts think. Let them back in and the economy will tank again.

    April 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. CSMinDC

    Get real, CNN. Your first poll was either a lie or flawed.

    April 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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