ABC/WaPo: Romney Favorability Levels Off at Lowest Mark for a Presumptive Nominee

Romney Favorability Levels Off at Lowest Mark for a Presumptive Nominee

Photo credit: Tolga Akmen / ZUMA Press / Newscom via Talking Points Memo

By Tom Kludt
Talking Points Memo
August 8, 2012

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 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Romney — virtually identical to the 41 percent 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 percent to 49 percent. Romney’s standing is even lower among independents, with only 37 percent of the bellwether voting bloc viewing him favorably compared with 50 percent who view him unfavorably.

Romney’s 40 percent 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 percent 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. …

The ABC/WaPo poll might serve as an indication that Romney’s favorability rating has reached its ceiling and that the attacks being levied by President Barack Obama’s campaign are beginning to stick.  [see comment below] …

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