Mitt Romney's favorability rating reached a new high of 47 percent in an ABC/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. The number represents a slight rise from his pre-debate image, though the Republican presidential candidate still trails President Barack Obama in terms of favorability.
Romney's net favorable rating has moved up 14 points since September among households making less than $50,000 a year, and 20 points among those making between $50,000 and $100,000. He also saw progress with self-identified conservatives, as well as both unmarried men and women. President Obama, meanwhile, posted a record high of 55 percent favorable in the poll, up 3 points from before the debate.
Party loyalists on both sides remained strongly entrenched, with a five-year record 93 percent of Democratic voters holding favorable views of Obama, and 87 percent of Republican voters seeing Romney favorably. The poll surveyed 845 registered voters between Oct. 4 and 7, and had a 4 percent margin of error.
For Romney, the shift wasn't enough to pull him above 50 percent and into positive territory. From ABC:
Romney’s 47 percent favorability is numerically the most in 18 ABC/Post polls since September 2011. But he remains underwater for the 13th time in those 18 surveys. (He’s been above water three times, not since January, and even twice.)
Four previous candidates have been underwater in popularity at roughly this point in available data back to 1980: losing Democratic candidates John Kerry in late September 2004, Walter Mondale in October 1984 and Jimmy Carter in September 1980; and Republican George H.W. Bush in October 1992.
But other surveys seem to confirm a rising trend for Romney, with his favorable and unfavorable numbers nearly tied for the first time in 2012, according to HuffPost Pollster's aggregate of all publicly available polling:
The latest poll from the Pew Research Center also showed Romney reaching his highest favorability yet, with a 50 percent favorable rating among registered voters. The poll also showed Romney making especially strong inroads with women voters and those under 50. Two other surveys released this week, the Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll, and the Daily Kos/SEIU poll conducted by the Democratic firm PPP, also found Romney pulling ahead in favorability among likely voters.