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Voters Say No to Romney

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mitt Romney, the unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee in 2012, has come out swinging against Donald Trump and has even indicated he might accept the GOP nomination this year at a brokered national convention. But Romney’s endorsement doesn’t mean much to voters nor are they likely to vote for him in the fall.

Romney has recorded pre-primary telephone calls endorsing Marco Rubio in Florida and John Kasich in Ohio, but the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 15% of Likely Republican Voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate he endorses. Slightly more Republicans (17%) are less likely to vote for that candidate, while 67% say Romney’s endorsement would have no impact on their voting decision. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among all voters, 10% are more likely to vote for a candidate Romney endorses, while 18% are less likely to do so. Seventy-one percent (71%) say an endorsement from Romney would have no impact on how they vote. 

Just 24% of all voters say they would vote for Romney to be the next president if the Republican national convention is unable to nominate any of the candidates now running and chooses him as a compromise nominee. Sixty-one percent (61%) would not vote for Romney, while 15% are not sure.

Among GOP voters, 39% would vote for Romney, but 45% would not. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.

By comparison, 36% of Republicans say they are likely to vote for Trump if he runs as a third-party presidential candidate, with 24% who say it’s Very Likely. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 8-9, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans agreed with Romney in January when he said their party should look for a fresh face to run for president in 2016. 

Among voters not affiliated with either major party who are eligible to vote in some open GOP primaries, just nine percent (9%) are more likely to vote for a candidate Romney endorses. Twice as many (18%) are more likely to vote against that candidate.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of unaffiliated voters and 12% of Democrats say they would vote for Romney if he were the GOP presidential nominee.

Few voters across the demographic spectrum react positively to a Romney endorsement. Similarly, voters in most categories are much more likely to say they would not vote for Romney if he ran for president again.

However, 53% of those who say Romney’s endorsement makes them more likely to support a candidate would vote for him if he were the GOP nominee.

Among those who think Donald Trump is Very Likely to be the Republican nominee, 68% say they would not vote for Romney.

Some in the Republican establishment are pushing the phrase “Never Trump” on social media as an expression of opposition to his success in the primaries. When asked which phrase best represents their opinion of Trump, 54% of all voters say “Never Trump,” while just 23% say “Always Trump," a phrase pushed by his most ardent supporters. GOP voters, though, are evenly divided.

Following Jeb Bush’s exit from the race, Trump widened his lead nationally on a hypothetical Republican primary ballot

Eighty percent (80%) of GOP voters believe Trump is likely to win the GOP nomination, including a high of 50% who say it is Very Likely. 

But only 31% of Republican voters think candidates who don’t win their party’s presidential nomination should be required to publicly support the person who is nominated.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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To learn more about our methodology, click here.