Americans Still Have Something to Say About Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election by a little less than four percentage points, earning 206 electoral votes to incumbent Barack Obama’s 332 and 59,134,475 popular votes to the president’s 62,611,250. But despite the solid loss and his own admission that he would not seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency in 2016, the draft-Romney campaign has started to gain momentum.
With Romney’s name swirling through early election discussions, Gallup measured how the American public views the former presidential candidate. Just following the election, data showed that 50 percent of Americans held a positive opinion of the candidate, and in the 15 months since Americans last went to the ballot box, that share has dropped just three percentage points, to 47 percent.
The size of the decrease did not suggest to Gallup’s Justin McCarthy that public opinion regarding Romney has fundamentally changed — after all, he has always struggled with his popularity in the polls.
During his 2012 campaign, as well as during his 2008 run, which ended in the Republican primaries, the public’s opinion of Romney was mixed, with his popularity never exceeding 50 percent. Gallup first polled the American public on Romney’s favorability in 2006, when a majority of respondents had either not heard of the then-governor or held no opinion. Those that had an opinion were more likely to view him favorably than unfavorably, by a margin of 19 percent to 12 percent.