Romney's likeability improves in post-convention boost: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:43pm EDT

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) is joined by vice-presidential candidate U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) and his wife Janna in Lakeland, Florida August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) is joined by vice-presidential candidate U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) and his wife Janna in Lakeland, Florida August 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mitt Romney emerged from the Republican convention with an overall improvement in his image among voters but no significant change in the number who say they will vote for him, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

Republicans nominated Romney on Thursday after three days of testimonials from friends, relatives and supporters, many aimed at showing the candidate in a more informal light. Romney has struggled to shake off perceptions of being stiff and aloof.

The four-day rolling poll has Democratic President Barack Obama still leading Romney in general favorability, 52 percent to 50 percent.

But the poll showed Romney steadily improving in likeability and other positive-image features.

Thirty-one percent of the registered voters responding to the survey found Romney "likeable" in Friday's poll, up from Monday's 26 percent. Obama enjoys a 48 percent likeability rating.

"The Republicans had the task at the convention of making their candidate more palatable, likeable to the American electorate," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark. "Our data suggests they have absolutely succeeded."

Especially notable was Romney's boost among independents, 45 percent of whom rated him favorably, compared with Thursday's 34 percent. Twenty percent of independents found him likeable, up from Thursday's 16 percent.

Nearly two out of five of those surveyed also found Romney, "tough enough for the job," outpacing Obama among all registered voters and among independents specifically.

Although lagging behind Obama in most other favorable metrics, Romney continued to make headway in categories such as "represents America," "understands people like me" and "is a good person."

Respondents said Romney would be more effective than Obama as president by a margin of 37 percent to 33 percent. The margin was even wider among independents, at 26 percent versus 17 percent.

Romney and Obama remain in a dead heat in most national polls of voting intentions. Friday's Reuters/Ipsos poll had Romney with a slim one-point lead among likely voters, effectively unchanged from the day before.

But Clark said such voting intention polls may be less relevant than concerns about a candidate's image, especially among independent voters and others on the fence, as the race is likely to remain close all the way to the November 6 election.

"It was more important for Romney to create a more positive image," she said. "Some of these softer metrics, image issues, they contribute to factors like trust that ultimately do sway some people" when time comes to vote.

For the survey, a sample of 1,632 registered voters was interviewed online. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Fred Barbash and Todd Eastham)

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Comments (13)
luisb80 wrote:
This improvement in image is an absolute lie!
He was perceived as vacuous, insincere, unconvincing, double face, completely disconnected from the reality of people, just eager to take the power away from President Obama, just because he is an African-American, period. The fact checks have shown again and again that the Romney campaign is founded on lies. They don’t even have a campaign slogan other than “we build it”, which would not exist without taking a phrase out of context out of a President Obama speech.
Romney campaign: Thank you for using actor-director-politician turned clown Eastwood, that was brilliant!!

Aug 31, 2012 7:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:
Yes, Romney’s likeability improved significantly. Even Rick Santorum likes him now…

“It truly frightens me to think what’ll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee.” – Rick Santorum, as first reported by the Des Moines Register, April 2012.

Aug 31, 2012 7:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Vis_Viva wrote:
“Romney’s likeability increases among the easily distracted who digest all their news from the nigh eternal deluge of convention coverage regurgitated ad nauseam for the duration thereof, albeit temporarily and by no means enough to affect the outcome of the election which for all intents and purposes is all over bar the shouting.”

Sep 01, 2012 3:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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