Here’s what happened to Sen. Mitt Romney’s approval rating after retirement, biography news
Romney has been in the headlines for criticizing his party and fellow lawmakers
Sen. Mitt Romney has been dominating news headlines for several months now. The initial buzz came after his retirement announcement in mid-September, when he promised to continue working until his term ends in January 2025, while pleading for “the next generation of leaders” to step up.
Then came the bombshell biography, “Romney: A Reckoning,” which peeled back the curtain on the senator’s complex relationships with several key players in Washington, D.C., and in Utah. The book, written by The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, was released on Oct. 24, but a few notable details leaked prior to the launch date, like Romney’s claim that Oprah Winfrey told him they should run on a unity ticket in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Even though Romney has been in the limelight even more than usual, his approval ratings haven’t changed much.
Nearly 50% of Utahns say they strongly or somewhat approve of Romney’s performance, a small decrease from September’s 54%. That’s according to the latest poll from the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
“Consistency is the word for Senator Romney,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute.
“The people in the state of Utah who approve of him have been consistently in favor, and those who oppose are consistently opposed,” Perry said, adding that “very few things” will affect the perceptions voters have of the senator.
The poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, surveyed 802 Utah voters from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.
Meanwhile, 41% said they strongly or somewhat disapprove of his performance, roughly three percentage points less than last month. And 10% said they did not know.
Romney continues to struggle among self-described very conservative Utah voters, 54% of whom say they strongly disapprove of his performance. This trend has long persisted for Romney.
Poll numbers from May exposed a vulnerability for Romney among Republican voters, which would have been a challenge should the senator have decided to run for reelection.
Similar to past polls, Romney did better with somewhat conservative and moderate voters in the latest survey, with 49% and 66% approval, respectively. His numbers are much higher among self-described somewhat liberal and very liberal voters, with strong or somewhat approval of 71% and 79%, respectively
His popularity among Democrats, unaffiliated voters as well as a sizable number of Republicans is not surprising to Perry.
“People have solidified their opinions of Senator Romney and those are unlikely to change,” he added.
As Romney wraps up his legislative service over the next several months, he marks a likely end to his 25 years in public service. Whether he will remain active in political circles after finishing his term is unclear — he has already clarified that a third run for the White House in 2024 is out of the question.
Romney told CBS News that he doesn’t define his life by his political wins and losses.
“My life is defined by my relationship with my family and my faith. That’s what I live for,” he said in the interview. “Those other things are part of the life experience. But that’s the defining measure of my life.”
The lack of senatorial duties will surely clear up more time to spend with his wife, Ann Romney, and their five children, 25 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.