Poll: Romney's Popularity on the Rise, but Obama Still Leads

Mitt Romney’s popularity is starting to rebound, but he still lags behind Obama, a CNN survey finds.

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Elad Benari,

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s popularity is starting to rebound, according to a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday.

44 percent of people questioned in the survey say they have a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, up ten points from February, during some of the most heated moments of the GOP primaries and caucuses. 43 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Romney and 13 percent said they are unsure.

The survey indicates that Romney's popularity still lags well behind President Barack Obama's, however. 56 percent said they have a favorable view of the president, with 42 percent saying they see Obama in a negative light.

CNN noted that the Republican Party's favorable rating has also rebounded, from 35 percent in March to 41 percent now. That figure is still putting the GOP several points behind the Democratic party's 46 percent rating, the report noted.

The poll found that 53 percent of all Americans plan to give Romney a second look when the primaries are officially over, with 45 percent saying they already know enough about Romney to decide whether he would be a good president.

The survey also found that while President Obama’s favorable rating, which measures reactions to him as a person, stands at 56 percent, the president's approval rating, which indicates what Americans think about his performance in office, stands at 49 percent. 48 percent of respondents said they disapprove of how he's handling his duties.

According to the poll, 47 percent of crucial independent voters give the president a thumbs up, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of the job he's doing in the White House.

According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, Obama's 49 percent 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 percent 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,” said Holland.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from April 13 to 15, with 1,015 adult Americans, including 910 registered voters, questioned by telephone. It was conducted just a few days after former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania suspended his bid for the GOP nomination. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas have not withdrawn from the race, but Romney is now generally considered the presumptive nominee.

A Gallup poll released earlier Tuesday showed Romney with a razor-thin lead over Obama. The Gallup poll of registered voters gave Romney support of 47 percent of the respondents, two percent more than Obama, with a margin of error of 3 percent turning the results into a statistical tie.