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Only 1 in 5 Americans see Utah Sen. Mitt Romney favorably, poll shows

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for Northrop Grumman’s missile defense development facility in Roy on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Americans apparently don’t like Sen. Mitt Romney.

Only 18% of Americans have a favorable view of the Utah Republican, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Among the group, a mere 2% have a “very positive” view of Romney, while 16% have a “somewhat positive” view of him.

The poll showed 38% of Americans have a negative view of the freshman senator, evenly split between “somewhat negative” and “very negative.” Another 37% described him as neutral and 7% didn’t know his name or weren’t sure.

Romney has emerged as a sharp and sometimes lone GOP critic of President Donald Trump since taking office in January. Most recently, Romney said Trump was wrong to ask Ukraine and China to investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

While many Republicans have come to Trump’s defense, Romney has said he’s withholding judgment on whether that’s an impeachable or removable offense. He was one of three GOP senators to not sign a resolution condemning House Democrats for conducting the impeachment inquiry behind closed doors.

Romney condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying it amounts to abandonment of Kurdish allies that “will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”

Trump has gone after Romney on Twitter, calling him pompous and saying he should be impeached.

Romney revealed last month a secret Twitter account under the name “Pierre Delecto” he used to monitor political discussions on social media and to defend himself.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also asked how Americans’ view Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. All fared better than Romney, except for McConnell, who also came in with an 18% favorable rating.

The poll found that 40% of Americans have a favorable view of Trump, while 53% have a negative view and 7% were neutral. The survey of 900 people was conducted in late October and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Utahns also don’t think much of Romney, according to a Y2 Analytics poll for UtahPolicy.com released in October.

Romney has a 46% approval rating among Utahns — 16% strongly approve and 30% somewhat approve. The poll says 51% strongly or somewhat disapprove of the senator, while 4% don’t know.

Romney won his Utah Senate seat with 63% of the vote last year.