Reporting from Washington — Mitt Romney hasn’t had a whole lot of good news recently, but here’s some: His favorability among Republicans is on the upswing, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey, conducted Wednesday through Sunday (Feb. 15-19), shows the percentage of Republicans with a favorable view of Romney rising seven points since a low ebb after his defeat in the South Carolina primary in January. At this point, almost two-thirds of Republicans have a favorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, the Post-ABC poll found – roughly the same level as former Sen. Rich Santorum of Pennsylvania, currently Romney’s closest rival for the nomination.
By contrast, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has seen his favorability plummet, with fewer than half of the Republicans in the survey voicing a positive view of him.
Santorum remains more popular than Romney among those Republicans and independents who consider themselves to be “very conservative.” But even there, Romney’s ratings have risen. In mid-January, fewer than half of the people in the very conservative camp said they viewed Romney favorably, but in the latest survey, 62% did. For Santorum, the favorable percentage was 74%. Gingrich was just barely above half, at 51%.