CNN Poll: Romney favorable rating rebounds
April 17th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
11 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. Dave

    It'll fail again once Americans realize we aren't electing a King.

    April 17, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. TomGI

    No first or second look from me. He has nothing in common with my family's situation and does not represent my priorities.

    April 17, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. John Smith

    Etch-a-sketch time!

    April 17, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Jim

    Mitt Romney has the business knowledge to get America back on track with jobs and the budget. Obama is a nice guy but never had the abilty to be POTUS. His background should have disqualified him to hold the office. If the news rags had done their job of vetting him instead of protecting him he never would have been elected in the first place. It was a social experement that just isn't working. Back to community organizing Barry! He ran on a slogan of "Hope and Change" and it should have been "On a wing and a prayer".

    April 17, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Steve

    @ WinstoneSmith
    Obama is for government helping people even if they do not help themselves.
    Romney is for the people working together to help themselves.

    April 17, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Vumba

    CNN I'm impressed. Something positive about a Republican. Run out of Obama hyperbole? It can't last forever, right?

    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Nate

    Hey CNN.... Dr. Ron Paul IS still in the race you know, and he won more delegates than Romney in Colorado just the other day. Did you report that? No? This race isn't over yet.

    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. John Livingstn

    A man who has lived a life of secrecy according to my msnbc friends, I mean its kinda hard to be a private equity man and not be used to hiding your cards and decieving people, his religion is full of secrecy and now he is telling his conservative base that he doesn't want to tell everything he's going to do becasue you don't want all of your secrets out. We don't know if he is a conservative or not with all of his flipflopping. JOhN KERRY WAS A FLIP FLOPPER REMEMBER.

    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Republicangrandma

    Romney said Obama should pack his stuff out from white house? LOL

    That's so arrogant!

    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. nibiro

    Vote MITT For Christmas 2012 USA.


    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Sametestsameresults

    Good luck America vote for Romney, he is everything to everybody. He knows owners of Nascar, he made 42 million last year, He has fired hundreds of employee's to satisfy his Venture capitalist friends, he was for Obamacare before he was against it. He is against abortion and gay marriage but supported both at different times. Mitt Romney is the best middle of the road guy that the GOP can muster. Good Luck TGOP......Go Obama 2012

    April 17, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Brad Ster

    There is still hope to save the country. It is long time until November and much can happen. Let us pray...

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Craig from Pa.

    Think REAL hard....Do you REALLY TRUST this guy to make your situation in life better??? Does he have a magic wand somewhere????

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. PhilG

    I can't wait til the campaign starts and the Dems show side by side clips of ALL the flip flops this joker has made in the last few years. He has literally changed his position on every major issue from abortion on down. You may disagree with Obama, but the guy has a core. Romney is purely an empty suit.

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Vumba

    I'm impressed. Something positive about a Republican. Run out of Obama hyperbole? It can't last forever, right?

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Mugi

    Polls are interesting, but it's way too early to make anything out of them. The state of the economy in November will be the key. Romney is the only one who can right the ship though. Anyone who thinks he won't help the middle-class and poor either have reading comprehension problems, or are getting handouts from Obama. Sad.

    And for one poll that was based on Obama's "likability" – please. Romney is plenty likable too. And Romney has a whole life of service helping the disadvantaged outside of Bain that most people don't even know about. I hope voters are smart enough to vote for the best person instead of the most likable person. The future of the U.S. and your pocketbook (and the pocketbook of children, grandchildren) depends on it.

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. 1twinsfan

    I want a first family that doesn't abuse the family dog.

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. angryed

    Romney has one huge advantage over Obama....Obama has his record of 4yrs of failures and misguided economic policies that he is trying desperately to blame on others and if necessary use distractions and gimmicks to get the public's attention away from his record...Romney is as bland and boring as they get, he is a career politician, he is more a conservative democrat than a republican.....and still he is a better choice than the overspending, spread the wealth, spread the blame leader we have now

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Steve

    Obama and his supporters are racist.

    April 17, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. woodofpine

    The rich son of a GOP scion, Ivy League, business savy and rich, a centrist former Governor – backed by Karl Rove...
    W – the Sequel!

    April 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Themix

    Ah politics...I never thought I'd vote Obama but looking at the alternative being Romney, I'm not impressed at all. Lets remove some republicans so changes can be made/tried without being stonewalled. Lets start with John Boehner as he's been the main tool over the last 6 or more months.

    April 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Luterinho

    The sad truth of the poll is that it reveals more about our country than about Mitt Romney and politics. Honestly with so easy persuaded population, it is easy to see why our country will never move forward into the right direction because both GOP and DNC know how flimsy the vast majority of our population is. We easy forget and we are easily persuaded by good salesperson. We are easily moved to change our position without even knowing why we are holding to some unsubstantiated truth. Honestly, how many of us really have check all the facts and researched all the truth? Not many because in the end we are merely consumer of truth, and the political machine (both GOP and DNC) and corporal machine know this truth so they produce the truth and we merely consume like we consume any other product. We eat them up like we consume "pink slim", "white slim", and all other type of slim that the political and corporate machine produce.

    April 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. James

    Just looking through several comments it's amazing to see how many people hate the wealthy. Why does "rich" equal "evil" in this country? If you don't know the person or what they do with their wealth who are you to say anything negative about it? If you were a millionaire would you give it up to be a blue collar worker because wealth is evil? The class warfare is absolutely out of control.

    April 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Fake god

    Vote for the Mormon cult and GOP if you really HATE America.

    April 17, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. Franky

    IF only Obama was 100% white, I'm telling you he could win a few more people over. I know people don't say it's a factor but I don't think any president has experienced the mistrust that he's dealt atleast we can all agree he's America now.

    April 17, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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