Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is far more popular with Democrats and unaffiliated voters than he is in his own party, The Daily Caller reports.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee has an impressive 84 percent approval rating among Utah Democrats, while only a third of GOP voters approve of what he is doing.
For years Romney has had a tumultuous relationship with President Donald Trump. The two were feuding long before Trump became president and Romney entered the Senate. However Trump endorsed Romney in his 2012 presidential campaign, calling him “tough” and “smart.”
Recently Romney was among the most vocal members of his party in rejecting Trump’s claims of election fraud, calling his Republican colleagues’ plan to challenge the 2020 presidential election an egregious ploy. He was also one of the first GOP senators to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election.
Romney was one of just five Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania who joined Democrats in favor of holding an impeachment trial for Trump on Tuesday.
“You have many of the Trump supporters in elected office, senators, congresspeople, governors, continuing to say the same thing, that the election was stolen,” Romney said Tuesday.
He argues Trump and his lawyers “had a chance to take their message to the courts, the courts laughed them out of court. I’ve seen no evidence that suggests that there was widespread voter fraud.”
The Deseret poll found 64 percent of Republicans in Romney’s home state disapprove of his job performance, including half who strongly disapprove.
Right leaning Utah voters favored Trump more heavily than either Romney or Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee, according to a poll taken in October from Y2 Analytics.
Pollsters say Romney may have an easier time with Republican voters now that President Joe Biden is in office.
“His comments about President Trump escalated over the past several months, particularly the last couple of weeks,” said Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, which assisted in the Deseret poll. “But what will be more interesting is what happens over the coming months and years when he is no longer put in the position of being expected to be in opposition to the leader of his own party.”