The Republican presidential nomination finally his, Mitt Romney has seen a steady uptick in his favorability ratings since breaking free of the GOP pack. A new poll shows that trend continuing, and Romney has women, in part, to thank.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post survey released Wednesday shows Romney with his highest favorability rating of the presidential campaign in their polling. Among those surveyed, 41 percent view Romney favorably, while 45 percent view him unfavorably. Registered voters, however, are split: 44 percent have a favorable view of the GOP nominee, while 44 percent have an unfavorable view.
The poll provides the latest evidence that Romney has steadily gained support since Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich left the contest. Throughout the primaries, Romney routinely drew low marks from voters. That was particularly true among women, as Republicans drew criticism for trying to curtail coverage for contraception. But the survey shows Romney has rebounded with women. Forty percent view him favorably, up from 27 percent a month ago. His overall favorability was below 40 percent in last month’s poll.
The TPM Poll Average likewise captures Romney’s improved favorability ratings over the last two months.
The newest poll isn’t entirely rosy for Romney. Despite the gains, he is still decidedly less popular than President Barack Obama. Obama nets 52 percent favorability in the ABC/Washington Post survey, while 45 percent view him unfavorably. Among the tighter sample of registered voters, Obama’s favorability rating is still in positive territory: 49 percent to 48 percent.
Obama is also viewed favorably by 51 percent of women, compared with 44 percent who hold an unfavorable view.
And Romney’s favorability rating is still historically weak. According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, Romney is less popular than all of the previous presidential nominees at this stage of the campaign since 1984.
The survey of 1,021 adults was conducted May 23-27, and had a 3.5 percent margin of error.
Tom Kludt is a newswriter for TPM. A former research intern and polling fellow for TPM, he lives and works in New York City. Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in May of 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He can be reached at Tom (at) talkingpointsmemo.com.