Obama’s Positive Ratings, Romney’s `Underwater’ — ABC/Post Poll

Photograph by James Branaman/Zuma Press

Supporters cheer on President Barack Obama as he takes the stage at St. Petersburg College for the kick-off event of his two day Florida bus tour on Sept. 8, 2012.

For the first time since April, more people hold a favorable view of President Barack Obama than an unfavorable view, in the ABC News/Washington Post survey this week that portrays the presidential contest as virtually tied among those most likely to vote.

Obama’s favorability rating in the survey — 52 percent — also stands eight points higher than Republican Mitt Romney’s, in the poll of registered voters conducted during three days following the Democratic National Convention.

The president’s balance of ratings has returned to a positive view — 52 favorable, 45 percent unfavorable —  after dipping “underwater” last week following the Republican National Convention.

Romney’s balance remains underwater, in pollster Gary Langer’s term — 44 percent favorable, 49 percent unfavorable — marking the 12th time in 14 ABC/Post polls this year that the voting public has expressed a more negative than positive view of the Republican nominee.

Obama’s standing has improved within his own party, Langer Research Associates found, with 89 percent viewing him favorably — and his standing has improved to 53-44 among women after sliding into negative territory following the Republican convention.

At the same time, the president’s standing among independent registered voters has changed little — 46 percent negative, 49 percent positive in the latest survey, compared with 45 percent negative, 51 percent positive last week.

`While neither Romney (in particular) nor Obama are in a strong position in terms of personal popularity, others have done worse in previous post-convention polling – a comparative improvement especially for Romney, whose favorability ratings before the convention were the lowest for any presumptive nominee in pre-convention ABC/Post polls dating to 1984,” Langer reports.

In previous post-convention polling, two Democratic presidential candidates received at least numerically lower favorability ratings than Obama’s and Romney’s today — Senator John Kerry in 2004 and Michael Dukakis in 1988.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Sept. 5-9,  a survey of 837 registered voters with a possible margin of error of four percentage points.

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