Poll finds Romney unfavorability rating rising among voters

A new poll finds Mitt Romney’s personal popularity slipping, a sign the presumptive GOP nominee could be failing to connect with voters with only three months until Election Day.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that while 40 percent of voters say they hold favorable views on Romney, a number unchanged since May, those with negative views grew from 45 percent to 49.

President Obama is still seen positively, with his favorable-unfavorable rating at 53 percent to 43 among all respondents. But his numbers slip to 49 positive and 47 negative among registered voters.

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Romney is under water among registered voters, 42 percent favorable to 50 unfavorable.

The poll notes that Romney finished the GOP primary season with the lowest favorability ratings for a presumptive nominee in the organization's surveys dating back 28 years, and the new figures suggest he has failed to address the issue with the voting public in the general-election phase of his campaign. 

The poll found that among those who were undecided about Romney a year ago and have now made up their minds, Romney is trending negative. His favorability rating is up 7 points in the last year, with his unfavorable score up 18.

Romney, though, still has opportunities to boost his standing with the public. The GOP candidate is launching a swing-state bus tour this weekend and will soon announce his vice presidential pick, another opportunity for his campaign to connect with voters.

Obama is topping Romney among independent voters. Fifty-three percent of independents view Obama favorably, to 40 percent unfavorable. Romney is at 37 percent favorable, 50 unfavorable.

Those numbers show a bump for Obama, who was under water among independents in May, at 42-52 unfavorable.

The poll also confirms the gender gap, with Obama doing best among women and Romney men. Fifty-eight percent of women view Obama favorably, to 47 percent of men. Romney is seen as favorable by 44 percent of men and 36 percent of women. 

The poll was conducted from Aug. 1-5 and has a 4 percent margin of error.

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