Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney accomplished one big thing last week in Tampa: the Republican National Convention rallied a once-wary GOP base back to his candidacy. But the immediate effect on the broader electorate was negligible, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Overall, Romney recovered all of the five-point drop in favorability he suffered in Post-ABC polling heading into the nominating convention. The biggest driver: a record high 87 percent of Republicans now have positive views of Romney. Notably, favorable impressions of Romney jumped 20 points among GOP women.
Romney also scored a substantial improvement on the enthusiasm front: for the first time, a majority of Republicans express “strongly favorable” views of their newly minted candidate. Among conservative Republicans the percentage with intensely positive views has more than doubled since the fiercely fought primaries. While positive views of Romney ticked up among all Americans, there was no significant movement among registered voters. And among both groups — all adults and voters — Romney still trails President Obama on this straightforward gauge of popularity.
Nor did Romney get a clear bump among political independents, who as a group have been downbeat on the Republican nominee all year long. Half of all independents currently have an unfavorable impression of Romney, while a third are favorable, with both sides of the equation essentially unmoved from a week ago.
For his part, the president enters his party’s convention in better shape than his opponent, but with an image badly bruised after three-and-a-half years in office. Slightly more than half of all Americans now rate him favorably, with 45 percent viewing him unfavorably. On the eve of his acceptance speech four years ago, 62 percent gave Obama positive reviews. Just before the inauguration in 2009, Obama’s favorability peaked at 79 percent. The low-point of his presidency was 47 percent in September 2011.
Another result from the GOP convention: unfavorable views of Obama hit a fresh high of 90 percent among Republicans. Fully 75 percent of Republicans now have strongly negative impressions of the president.