While still in negative territory coming out of last week’s debate, Mitt Romney is rated favorably by 47 percent of registered voters in an ABC News/Washington Post poll out today.
That’s the Republican presidential nominee’s highest score in the ABC/Post poll since it first started asking that question in September 2011.
The problem for Romney is that 51 percent still view him unfavorably, his second-highest unfavorable rating in the survey — in polling parlance, an “underwater” balance of approval ratings.
Only four other presidential candidates have been in negative territory one or two months before Election Day in ABC’s surveys: Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, George H.W. Bush in 1992 and John Kerry in 2004, according to Gary Langer, who conducted the poll.
Then again, Langer points out, President Barack Obama’s 55 percent approval rating, while his highest since April 2010, would still be the lowest of any post-World War II nominee since President George W. Bush in 2004.
The Pew Research Center, with a poll this week showing Obama and Romney tied among registered voters and Romney leading by four percentage points among likely voters, found Romney holding a 50-percent approval rating, up five points from last month, and Obama holding a 49-percent favorable rating, down six points from last month, among likely voters.
Among all registered voters, Obama’s approval stood at 50 percent, his negative rating 45 percent. Romney’s stood at 45 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable — also “underwater.”