August 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama holds 7-point lead over Romney

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is up, most Americans think the Republican presidential challenger favors the rich, and it appears the number of people who believe that the economy will not get better if Romney is elected has edged up slightly, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that Romney's supporters are increasingly getting behind the presumptive GOP nominee.

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It all adds up to a seven point advantage for President Barack Obama over the former Massachusetts governor, with 52% of registered voters questioned in the survey saying that they'd vote to re-elect the president and 45% backing Romney.

"Among independent voters, the poll indicates President Obama has a 53%-42% lead," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The president holds a nine point advantage among women voters and a smaller six point edge among men."

The good news for Romney: Four months after he wrapped up the race for the GOP nomination, 56% of Romney voters say they strongly support him, up from 47% in May. Sixty-one percent of Obama voters say they strongly support the president.

Since the start of the general election in April, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups have launched attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee, and the survey indicates that they appear to be working.

While Romney's favorable rating has remained steady (47% now compared to 48% in July), his unfavorable rating has jumped from 42% last month to 48% now. The president's 56%-42% favorable-unfavorable rating now is little changed from July.

Among independents, the poll indicates Romney's image has taken a beating. In May, only 40% of independents had an unfavorable view of Romney. Now, 52% of independents have a negative view of him.

Other findings: Sixty-four percent of all Americans, and 68% of independents, think Romney favors the rich over the middle class. And 63% of the public thinks Romney should release more tax returns than he has already made public, a figure which rises to 67% among independents.

"These are all signs that a summer of negative campaigning on the part of the Democrats seems to be taking its toll on the presumptive GOP nominee," says Holland.

Most significantly, it appears that Romney's image as a can-do guy on the economy may have also been hurt. In May, 50% of all Americans said that the economy would get better if Romney were elected. That's now down to 45%, two points below Obama's number. It's likely that all of this is the result of the Democrats' efforts to paint Romney in an unflattering light, but so far Obama has avoided any blowback from that strategy, as evidenced by no rise in his unfavorable rating.

Who do Americans think will win the election?

Regardless of which candidate they support, 63% think Obama will win re-election, with one third saying Romney will win.

"That may not translate directly into votes, but it is worth noting that in August of previous election years, the public accurately predicted the winner in 1996, 2000 and 2008, and in 2004 George W. Bush and John Kerry were tied," adds Holland.

Control of Congress is also up for grabs in November. According to the survey, 45% say the country would be better off if Congress were controlled by Democrats, with 39% saying things would be better if the GOP ran Capitol Hill.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International Tuesday and Wednesday (August 7-8), with 1,010 adults nationwide, including 911 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC poll • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (430 Responses)
  1. indyconservative

    I call boulderdash on this poll! How many more democrats were called versus republicans!! C'mon CNN you can do better! Funny that this poll was fudged...oops I mean released the same day as the non-partisan Rasmussen poll was. Liberal media...at it again all in hopes of electing their saviour.

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. truthbetold

    A CNN/ORC International survey – you dont need to say much more. Its about the same as polling Reid, Pelosi, Wassmern-Shultz, and Jay Carney

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Not you

    Foodstamp president, whoopie

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Deepen Gandhi

    good thing we have intelligent Americans in our country! LETS GO OBAMA 2012! #Forward

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. No_Bammy

    CNN advocating again, refusing to do articles on how incompetent and dishonest obama's presidency has been.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Notaliberalsodontevenstart

    Romney would continue with the systematic destruction of the US that started by Bush.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. MissleMan

    Most americans favor fair and balanced reporting. CNN's manipulation of polls and data do not help the american people come to their own conclusions on the presidential candidates. Perhaps a bit more facts on the candidate's position and economic experts assessment of how it might benefit the economy. Clearly the current economic strategy for the country is not working and the obvious lack of policy is stiffling any hope of recovery. Change is needed...And it better be right!

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Tyler

    Romney can't win, sorry but just not gonna happen, he's far too insincere (it shows every time he talks) far too mormon, far too corrupt, and far too rich. Only white wealthy individuals could possibly see him as their fellow American.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Bob the Janitor

    Nice try, CNN...but Romney's numbers are only up for winning the election.

    Obama has 2 problems with the upcoming election:

    First, Romney is winning independent voters by being more honest than the president. Independent voters don't care about his tax returns, they want jobs and a strong economy and $2-a-gallon gasoline and American values.

    Second, Obama is losing independent voters by running a dishonest and mean-spirited campaign using "weapons of mass distraction" to keep voters from focusing on his failure as a leader and chief executive.

    MITT ROMNEY WILL BE AMERICA'S NEXT PRESIDENT!!!

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Deepen Gandhi

    and the doubters of the poll? 49pct of independents backed the President in it.. so there you go.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. jo

    If Mitt is president, America will be arrogant to the whole world like the Bush era.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Beach

    All those negative ads from Obama must be working. You know Obama isn't getting the voters based on his achievements since he doesn't have any. Over 8% unemployment longest period in history, record deficits, wasteful stimulus, and out of control spending he refused to do one thing about. He is and has been too busy campaigning or golfing because he sure hasn't been governing. Effective governing is not a strength.

    August 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Bob the Janitor

    Awaiting moderation means you're too honest...

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. truthbetold

    Welcome to the CNN board where Libbies pat each other on the back while ignoring facts. Have fun when your EBT is terminated in January.

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Duke

    The "Everything's Free President". Sad and pathetic

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Bushy Walrus

    The GOP (as it stands now), will never put a man in the white house. The GOP is too much of a fringe organization of right wing nuts and religious zelots.

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    About this time in the Carter and Reagan campaign, Carter was far ahead in the polls. And how did that turn out?

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. James Asher

    The problem is, for the most part, the rich are not using their tax cut money to create jobs, they're putting it into offshore accounts.

    August 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Rlg

    Honesty is the best policy and Mr. Romney doesn't seem to want to remember that. He says what he thinks the public wants to hear whether or not all the facts are true. I

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. bob

    Truly unfortunate that so many Americans are undereducated about economics, and history as well. Socialistic policies have always been a failure. America was born to be a new, free nation, and the jax-ax Obama is taking this country in the wrong direction. I am SO GLAD that as a MIDDLE CLASS American, I was able to save and invest enough money to LEAVE this country if that rat ship gets re-elected. VOTE FOR AMERICA, VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY!

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. ProperVillain

    Let me see....I can either vote for the idiot not in office or the idiot currently in office. What to do, what to do.....

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Kory Porporino

    How about a complete abolishment of the two-parties, since they're always one-upping each-other....or we could just have 70% of registered voters register "non-affiliated" come next election. Either action would put the power back in the Peoples' hands, and that is what we're so blatantly missing in today's U.S. society. They only have the interests of their own parties, or, more criminally, themselves in mind when they pass legislation. I am independant, and will continue to be, but to me it seems like Obama is genuine, with multiple attempts to pass legislation in the best interests of this nation moving forward. Romney just takes two stances and fails to do what the general public, Republican or Democrat, wants. The choice is obvious.

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. RickinCambridge

    Check Rasmussen's polling for today-Romney 47%, Obama 43%.

    Also, look at Obama's job approval which has been stuck between 45 and 50% for months.

    Sorry boy-back to Kenya

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Shane

    Can you say "Democratic Landslide" in November????

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. us_1776

    Tax returns, Mitt. Tax returns.

    We're waiting....

    .

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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