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. markiejoe

    Just start the Etch-A-Sketch ads against Romney and he's toast.

    April 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. james

    Remember when red was THE color for breaking news ? Now its yellow.

    April 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. motown74

    You democrats just don't get it. Obama is rich, and loves the lavish life style. He and Michelle have nothing in common with the average American who is suffering economically. At least Romney spends his own money that he earned. Obama spends trillion$ of OUR money.

    April 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Death of The Republic

    Which Mitt is seeing the bump in his rating: the Liberal Mitt, the Moderate Mitt, or the Conservative Mitt?

    April 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. czar33

    Ann Romney worked!

    April 17, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. ldsrevelations

    Sure. It's 2 am. The bars closing and now you're considering taking home 3-tooth Ted. The same Ted that 3 hours and 4 beers earlier you had little/no interest in. Given the choice of going home alone or with Ted, many will choose or I mean Romney— because for them Obama = alone.

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. pitung

    No question about the story. If you ask, CNN, ABC, NBC, LA Times, PBS, they all say that BO is no comparison with Mitt. Just wait and see what the outcome will be.

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Iamnotfooled

    I can't wait for the debates with Romney and President Obama. President Obama will have him so tongue twisted , he won't know which side is up or down. He will also have to reveal what agencies he will eliminate. Then people can see him for the CEO who fires people.

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Jbenn

    Terry, you know your stuff haha. These statistics are lies too, most polls have Romney in the lead.

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Dorothy Stickley

    Etch-a-Sketch, indeed! Let's pretend all those stupid comments and bad moments did not exist and reinvent Mitt Romney. He really, truly does not have a clue.

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Steve

    A first grade teacher explains to her class that she is a liberal Democrat. She asks her students to raise their hands if
    they were liberal Democrats too. Not really knowing what a liberal Democrat was, but wanting to be like their teacher,
    their hands flew up into the air. There was, however, one exception. A girl named Lucy had not gone along with the
    crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different. "Because I'm not a liberal Democrat." "Then,"
    asks the teacher, "What are you?" "Why I'm a proud conservative Republican," boasts the little girl. The teacher, a
    little perturbed and her face slightly red, asked Lucy why she was a conservative Republican. "Well, I was brought up
    to trust in myself instead of relying on an intrusive government to care for me and do all of my thinking. My Dad and
    Mom are conservative Republicans, and I am a conservative Republican too." The teacher, now angry, loudly says,
    "That's no reason! What if your Mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?" She
    pauses, and lets out a smile. "Then," Lucy says, "I'd be a liberal Democrat."

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Obo is Gone in 7 Months

    ......the bell tolls Obo.....back to the cesspool if IL policits for you and Chelle.

    Like Kenny Power's say's: YOUR Fu ck ing OUT!......

    April 17, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. out of touch

    We can't elect a successful businessman. That would be crazy. I don't want someone that knows how to make money in charge of this country. I want someone on food stamps that understands my plight and can help keep us in a sub-par economy. If I'm the average struggling Joe why on earth would I want to look to a leader that understands how to build wealth and success? I'm just trying to pretend I understand why people don't want a successful guy as a leader..... It's tough to understand.

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. jOHN

    Interesting.....what has he done to change this? Has there been anyone in history that has flip flopped and lied his way as much as Romney? If people are all of sudden liking him because they are not being pounded daily with negative adds about him...explains how we got W. for two terms.

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Cliff Olney

    Didn't get enough of the GOP policies under Bush? Didn't work, haven't worked, won't work. Romney's told America what he plans to do- cut taxes for the wealthy, cut programs for the middle class, cut education and Social Security, blockm grant Medicare to the States, and still many in the middle class will vote for him. Incredible!

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. J Stuart

    Will Mitt transform back into the moderate he once was (and probably woo more independents)? Or does he remain the "Conservative's conservative" that he became during the debates. I for one would have voted for a republican moderate. But who would believe him now?

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. motown74

    @ Rick: Yes, thank goodness you don't live in america. And, since you DON'T live here, our politics are none of your business.

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Josef Bleaux

    Only a bigoted racist would vote Republican.

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Roger

    Obama can just hurry up and get on to his second term already.

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Brian K

    Seriously you guys, enough bashing Mitt Romney! Mitt took down Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, I mean c'mon not everyone can do that! Congratulations Mitt, My MAN, MY PRESIDENT, you are officially the smartest man with down syndrome and I couldn't be more proud of you!

    April 17, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Q

    Obama has been a great president, i.e. ended two wars, got Bin Laden, saved the auto industry, ended don't ask don't tell, etc. On the other hand, Romney wants to continue the Bush economic policies of catering to the rich and ignoring the poor and middle class. Unless you are a one percenter, and white, how could anyone vote for Dumney?

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Ray Gurgitate

    Yesterday CNN blabs Obama ahead by 9 points. What a joke and a sad commentary on a once news organization now pukes out nothing but baloney.

    Who do I beleive.

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Q

    This blog is not very good, must be Fox news employees doing the editing.

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Josef Bleaux

    Southern whites will never vote for a Mormon.

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. livingston

    The only people giving him a second look are the people who were supporting the ones that dropped out of the race. Everyone else has seen enough.

    April 17, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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