Who's Your Favorite Republican?

  • June 24, 2009

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has seen his favorability ratings improve and now enjoys a positive balance of opinion among the general public: 40% rate him favorably, 28% unfavorably. This marks a reversal of opinion from February 2008, during the latter stages of the GOP primary campaign, when just 30% viewed him favorably and 44% expressed an unfavorable opinion.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 10-14 among 1,502 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, finds that impressions of Sarah Palin have not changed much since the presidential campaign. Palin continues to be a divisive figure among the general public, with about as many saying they have an unfavorable impression (44%) as a favorable view (45%) of the Alaska governor.

Among Republicans, however, the balance of opinion about Palin is more positive than it is regarding Romney or other leading GOP figures, Newt Gingrich and Michael Steele. More than seven-in-ten Republicans (73%) express a favorable opinion of Palin while just 17% have an unfavorable opinion. Romney, Gingrich and especially Steele are less familiar figures – among the public overall and Republicans – than is Palin. While comparable percentages of Republicans rate Palin and the other Republicans unfavorably, far more view Palin favorably. And Palin continues to be overwhelmingly popular with key parts of the GOP base – white evangelical Republicans (84% favorable) and conservative Republicans (80% favorable).

Read the full report Romney's Image Improves; Palin Well Regarded by Republican Base on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.