This doesn’t translate into enthusiasm for the candidate, but a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows a lot more “very conservative” voters believe Mitt Romney’s views are “about right.”
Conservatives are growing increasingly accepting of Mitt Romney’s status as one of them, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Three-quarters of those who call themselves “very conservative” now say Romney is about right ideologically, a major change from the 61 percent who said the same back in April. The number of very conservative voters who saw Romney as “too liberal” is edging down, too — from a sizable 27 percent in April to 19 percent now.
This growing affinity is even more apparent among conservative Republican voters. In April, 72 percent said he was “about right” on most issues but 23 percent said he was too liberal. That margin has moved to 85 percent “about right” and just 9 percent too liberal.
Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, the architect of the Republican budget, as his vice presidential running mate appears to be a big reason for the increasing acceptance among the Republican base. Two-thirds of very conservative voters approve strongly of Ryan’s selection as do 69 percent of conservative Republicans. And fully a third in each of those overlapping groups say the choice of Ryan has made them more likely to vote for Romney.
Leaving aside Romney’s previous positions on issues like immigration reform and abortion, the 2012 Mitt Romney is one of the most effective defenders of capitalism in the party. With the American system under attack so relentlessly by the Democrats, it could be that the right is willing to forgive Mr. Romney some of his flip flopping and embrace him as a strong advocate of the free market. Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan — another stout defender of economic freedom — only buttressed this notion.