Poll: Romney's unfavorability rating on the rise
August 8th, 2012
08:25 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Romney's unfavorability rating on the rise

(CNN) - Less than three months before Election Day, a new poll released Wednesday indicates Mitt Romney is still struggling with favorability ratings.

According to the ABC News/Washington Post survey, 49% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, while 40% see him in a favorable light.

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The poll also shows that Romney's unfavorability rating has increased since May, when 45% had a negative view of the Republican candidate. According to the poll's release, Romney is "laboring under the lowest personal popularity ratings for a presumptive presidential nominee in midsummer election-year polls back to 1984."

Wednesday's results are in line with a Pew Research Center poll from last week, which found Romney's favorability rating had dropped slightly in the past month, with 37% saying they held a positive view of Romney in July, compared to 41% in June.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has higher positive ratings than his Republican challenger in the new ABC News/Washington Post survey, with 53% of Americans saying they view the president favorably, while 43% say they hold an unfavorable opinion.

But among registered voters, Obama's numbers fall to 49% favorable vs. 47% unfavorable. While the number drops, it's still more positive than Romney's score among registered voters: 42% favorable vs. 50% unfavorable.

Obama also has an advantage over Romney among registered independent voters, leading his opponent 46% to 38%.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul downplayed the new results Wednesday morning, predicting the former Massachusetts' governor's ratings will go up as more voters get to know him.

She also pointed to recent polls that give Romney an advantage over the president when voters are asked which candidate would best handle the economy.

In fact, a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday indicates Romney has a ten point advantage over Obama in the crucial swing state of Colorado on questions about the economy, with voters split in two other battleground states: Virginia and Wisconsin.

"The more people learn about Mitt Romney, the more they are going to like him," Saul said on CNN's "Starting Point." "President Obama has not been able to get the job done, and that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much."

Hitting back, Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on the same program Wednesday that Romney's favorability ratings have "dropped like a hot potato" since the GOP primary season.

"(Saul) is absolutely correct. They are getting to know Mitt Romney and they aren't liking what they're seeing," Cutter said.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone, questioning 1,026 adults between August 1 and August 5. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. mdn

    I hear that Mitt hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. No wonder he has so much money. He is ripping off the middle class. If he disagrees he can simply release his tax returns.

    August 8, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. PJ

    "They" will say likeability is not important." What they aren't getting is that honesty and being open about your plans are important. Characteristics that Romney hasn't shown yet. Ted Kennedy called him "Multiple Choice" Romney back
    in 1995 when Romney challenged him in a Senate race. Things haven't changed much in his 17 years of trying to be
    a "dreaded" Washington insider.

    August 8, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney's poll numbers are down because he has defined himself: flip flopper, whimp, tax dodger for 10 years, owner of a horse that reaps him $77,000 in tax breaks, out of touch with the average American, and business record of shipping American jobs overseas.

    August 8, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Peace

    We always like a person because of their character which remains stable/unchanged all the time. Romney's character can not be compared to anything. His behaviour on releasing his Tax Returns has made a lot of us to put a big question mark on his name. This is the person who have spent years and years for his presidential bid. Has he been thinking that he will fool everyone around and get a pass, without knowing how he dealt with his financial matters in the past? He is running in his past experience of having a know-how of creating jobs. We would also like to know his finances in the past by seeing his Tax Returns. Each and everything at this moment on Romney is about the past including his Tax Returns.

    August 8, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Workers Unite !

    ABC and Washingto Post, Both DNC / Communist front organizations

    August 8, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Stephen in VA

    "The more people learn about Mitt Romney, the more they are going to like him," Saul said on CNN's "Starting Point."
    Uh huh. Sure. So show us the tax returns if you really want us to learn more about him.

    August 8, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    When you speak the cold hard facts some won't like it. Like taking medicine. Romney isn't taking away your rubber ducky. You never had one. The Fiscal Cliff is getting close. IT IS MIDNIGHT. That Fantasy is turning back to reality.

    August 8, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. v_mag

    Lots of reasons not to like Rob-money. Bishop in a cult. Uses giant tax loopholes only available to the super-rich to avoid paying his share. Lies about stuff like the President's welfare changes. Flip flops. Has no concept of what it's like to be poor or unemployed. On and on.

    But the most important reason not to like Rob-money: He's a clone of George W. Bush.

    August 8, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. Wes B.

    Maybe Romney should do an interview with someone other than FoxNews.

    August 8, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Anthony

    Romney can raise money, but has no plan to run on. He can't even tell you specifically what spending he is going to cut in the budget, because he cannot come up with enough programs in the budget so that the numbers add up in his plan.

    August 8, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. Cheney literally doesn't have a heart.

    where are your taxes? We demand to see us your taxes!

    August 8, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. mark

    Too much flip-flopping....and those tax returns are hanging around his neck. He needs to release them, get it out the way, and redefine himself.

    August 8, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Eric

    People see Romney as being a sceretive, lying, spineless, weak, incompetent and disconnected candidate. He can not think on his own but if elected control by Sheldon Alderson, the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and all the other extreme republicans thugs. He is a rubber stamp amd symbolic mouthpiece of the extreme. Therefore, he will lose.

    August 8, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. Ginni Tritt

    will be interesting to see if $$MONEY$$ can buy popularity–or it it only has to buy VOTING MACHINES and manipulation of data... Although I am sure this could not happen in the USA....

    August 8, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. Expat American

    Once the debates start more and more people will realize that Romney is a bully and a coward whose message is no different than what comes out of the hindquarters of his million dollar mare.
    Romney, Rove, Koch Inc., the fat cardiac case gambling slob and the GOP in general care nothing for the poor and the middle class.

    August 8, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. Steve Jennings

    "The more people learn about Mitt Romney, the more they are going to like him,"

    How? He is a different person everyday, The only thing I know about him is that he firmly believes 2 years taxes is all he should release. Outside of that, everything has changed multiple times.

    His campaign song should be, If you don't know me by now by Simply Red. ...he doesn't deserve the original artists.

    August 8, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. RealityBites

    Personal destruction and innuendo. The only tools Obama and the lamestream media have for their re-election campaign. CNN use to be so much better than this...

    August 8, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. Thaddeus Kozubal

    Where are Romney's prior years' income tax filings? Just how devious is this man Romney? How can any poor and middle class families believe Romney's flip-flop rhetoric and political lies? Vote Democratic and save the USA!!!!!!!

    August 8, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Sorensen

    Of course nobody likes him. He is out-of-touch with everybody (including the brains in GOP), women, blacks,
    hispanics, gays, catholics, etc. He is against contraception, abortion, womens rights, etc. (Like all mormons!)
    He wants the rich to get richer at the cost of the non-rich. He says he is qualified because of his "business" education.
    He was a mediocre "distressed asset manipulator" in a mediocre management outfit. That has nothing to do with
    running a country's economy. He says, he is a leader. Leadership means the capacity to inspire creativity. Romney
    could not inspire anybody to do anything.
    His desparate attempts to look like he is one of the people, are just that, desparate. The europeans think he is a corny
    and embarrassing idiot. He says all the wrong things to everybody. Like his wife.
    Succes and failure are self-accelerating. Old Romney are accelerating faster and faster towards the cement wall.

    August 8, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    The more one gets to know Willard, the more there is to dislike. Wow. Not even a trip to buy "hardware stuff "improves his everyman image. Nope. He's being seen for what he is: a dishonest, elitist, tax-dodging, secretive, flip-flopping, pandering wimp that likes firing people and taking other people's money to line his already fat pockets.
    Show us your papers or bow out or get blown out.

    August 8, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Qin23

    Mitt has a ten point led in Colorado where a large number of Mormons live. No surprise there.

    August 8, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "According to the poll's release, Romney is "laboring under the lowest personal popularity ratings for a presumptive presidential nominee in midsummer election-year polls back to 1984."

    Oh, goody. Strutting around in the country wearing faded out blue jeans while laughing at all the "little people" he is trying so hard to dupe isn't working quite the way Mitt intended.

    Goes to show that you can take the man out of Wall Street but you can't take Wall Street out of the man.

    Obama/Biden 2012-2016 ... because "If I Tell Them What My Plans Are They Won't Vote For Me - I've Got A Secret" Mitt Romney is the most untrustworthy candidate to ever run for President since Richard Nixon ran and ended by taking the entire GOP down the gutter with him.

    August 8, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. eroteme

    Romney;s unfavorability increasing? Not so surprising being Democrats have described him as a murderer, tax cheat, etc.

    August 8, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. JS in CT

    Here is my economic plan:
    Let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. Freeze spending (except for infrastructure and research/education, see below). So as to avoid a "fiscal cliff" and provide a stimulus, you adopt a 5 yr formula of what you do with the money from the expired Bush tax cuts: yr 1- 80% infrastructure, 20% deficit reduction; yr 2, 60% infrastructure, 40% deficit reduction; yr 3, 40% infrastructure, 60% deficit reduction; yr 4, 20% infrastructure, 80% deficit reduction; yr 5- 10% infrastructure, 90% deficit reduction. Any additional revenue from increased employment, decreased unemployment payments, or economic stimulus, should go into scientific research (NIH, NSF) and education. This plan will put us on a path to long range deficit reduction, finally improve our aging infrastructure, and provide an economic stimulus.

    August 8, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. 91 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    I'm truly, truly surprised that it's taking voters – and I don't count the red state knuckle dragging sheeple as voters – this long to realize that the Grand Obstructionist Party TRULY has no candidate, no platform, no policies, no concrete plans to fix the economy and no chance in Nov!

    August 8, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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