A sharp advance among women has boosted Mitt Romney to his highest favorability rating of the presidential campaign – albeit still an unusually weak one – while Barack Obama’s personal popularity has slipped in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Obama still beats Romney in favorable ratings overall, by an 11-point margin, 52 vs. 41 percent. But that’s down from 21 points last month, giving Romney the better trajectory. And both get only even divisions among registered voters, marking the closeness of the race between them.
This survey comes after a period in which Romney’s chief GOP competitors withdrew from the Republican race and lined up behind his candidacy. Romney clinched his party’s nomination in Texas last night.
All Romney’s gains have come among women – up by 13 percentage points in personal popularity from last month, while Obama’s lost 7 points among women. (Views among men have been more stable.) Obama’s rating among women, 51 percent favorable, still beats Romney’s 40 percent – but again that margin is far smaller than what it was six weeks ago.
An ABC/Post poll last week found improvement for Romney in vote preferences among married women. This survey finds that his gains in personal favorability, instead, come predominantly among unmarried women, who saw him uncommonly negatively earlier this spring.