POLL: Mitt Romney's 'Favorability' Plateaus At Record Lows

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Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

After his personal popularity saw a resurgence almost immediately after he wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney’s favorability rating has plateaued at a historically low level, according to a new poll released Wednesday.According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 40 per cent of Americans hold a favourable view of Romney — virtually identical to the 41 per cent high-water mark that his favorability rating reached in the ABC/WaPo survey from late May. Compounding matters for the presumptive Republican nominee: the percentage of the public who view him unfavorably has jumped from 45 per cent to 49 per cent. Romney’s standing is even lower among independents, with only 37 per cent of the bellwether voting bloc viewing him favourably compared with 50 per cent who view him unfavorably.

Romney’s 40 per cent favorability mark represents the lowest midsummer personal popularity rating for a presumptive presidential nominee dating back to 1948. Perhaps Romney’s only solace is that former President George H.W. Bush nursed a comparable 41 per cent favorability rating at a similar point in 1988. Bush, of course, went on to comfortably win the presidential election that year — although he wasn’t facing an incumbent.

The former Massachusetts governor has been plagued by low favorability ratings throughout the 2012 campaign, but it wasn’t long ago when it looked like his personal appeal was recovering. After Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid in April, Romney’s favorability rating grew, seemingly a sign that his low popularity was due in large part to a bruising Republican nomination contest. But that resurgence has tapered off this summer. This trend is illustrated by the PollTracker Average, which shows 40.1 per cent view Romney favourably compared with 49.6 per cent who view him unfavorably.

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