Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's blistering critique of current Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump last week had virtually no impact on the billionaire's pool of support, according to a new poll.
Forty-eight percent of U.S. voters in the Morning Consult survey released Tuesday said the former GOP nominee's speech widely publicized speech had "no impact either way" on whether they support Trump. Twenty percent said Romney's remarks make them less likely to vote for the New York billionaire while 25 percent said they are now more likely to back him.
Among self-described conservatives, 47 percent said Romney's speech did not change their view of Trump. Twenty-seven percent said they are now more likely to vote for him, while 23 percent said they are less likely. Results suggest that Republican men were most turned off by Romney's critique of Trump, whose endorsement he praised in 2012. According to the poll, 41 percent of male GOP voters are now more likely to support Trump in the primary season.
The poll also finds that 30 percent of voters who supported Romney in 2012 are more likely to vote for Trump after the former Massachusetts governor's remarks, compared to 20 percent who said less likely. Trump also enjoys a favorability rating that is slightly higher than his newest foe. The real estate mogul has a net-positive rating of 55-42 percent, compared to a 51-41 percent net-positive rating for Romney.
In his speech last Thursday, Romney described Trump as a "phony," questioned whether he has the temperament to be commander-in-chief and suggested the businessman's economic policies would "lead to a recession."
"He's playing the members of the American public for suckers," Romney said of Trump. "He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."
The survey of 2,019 registered voters was conducted between March 4-6. Results contain a margin of error plus or minus 2 percent.