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. 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 IDIOT 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 gets re-elected. VOTE FOR AMERICA, VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Anon 2012

    Reality has such a left leaning bent according to RWNJs.
    Back in the real world, this race has opened up according to all legitimate polling organizations and president obama is headed to re-election.

    August 9, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. cali girl

    My views, don't kid yourself. Robmey would be a disaster if elected. He would mirror the last GOP President, Dubya, and the country is still playing catch up from those disastrous 8 years. And Robmey has a lot of millionaire backers, Adelson, Trump, Koch Bros and Rove who he is going to answer to. What that spells out is the rich get richer and expect no trickle down. Taxes will increase for the middle class by 2K under Robmey.
    Bad news for seniors when Medicare virtually goes away. The poor will lose valuable services like Head Start and Planned Parenthood funding. The middle class will not exist because all of them will be lopped in as 1 class, the have-nots.

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Chad

    Never trust a man that wears hairspray, especially as much as he does.. I don't see how he can even make a facial expression

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Nan

    @myviewis: Do you watch anything but Fox (I can't even say it) News? Seriously, try some real news reporting for a change. I know that actual facts, rather than right-wing rhetoric are hard to deal with however. Please provide some facts to support your goofy rants. Are you one of those who thought our war debt would magically disappear? As many before me have asked, just how did Bush plan to pay for two wars and tax breaks for the wealthy? Answer? Blame Obama for everything under the sun; it only makes you look well, kind of dim.

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. William dodge

    Go Obama 2012 and I'm a real American independent . I make my on choice !

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. will never vote Republician again

    The economy will ONLY get BETTER for the RICH! Pres. Obama cares about all Americans! Go decorate your new home in La Jolla that you paid 12 million CASH for! And take the KOCH BROTHERS with YOU!

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Bob the Janitor

    8.3% unemployment...

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. ktown8

    @A Don't you think the IRS would be all over Romney if he was doing something illegal? That's the point, he's not. He's for closing tax loopholes and reforming the tax code to increase revenue that way. What about all of the stuff Obama is hiding. He's spent millions sealing his college applications, grades, transcripts, essays, birth certificate, etc....I'm much more worried about his past and history than a man who has proven to be successful and smart. Obama is a good community organizer and great at distracting Americans from the real issues with social issues such as gay marriage, illegal immigration, and welfare. He's a life-long organizer, so he's good at that. He's not fit to hold the office of President. He'll never garner my respect, and I'll never salute, shake his hand, or give him praise.

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. singe

    Now is the time for some maverick like shock and awe, now is the time for a "game changer"....not Paul Ryan, not Rex Ryan....Tim Tebow for Republican Veep! It would be two no brainers on one ticket!!

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

    Romney is a dead fish flip flopping on a hot beach. Please put him out of his misery or just have him show his tax returns. Same difference.

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Deepen Gandhi

    @Bob the Janitor.. IN YOUR DREAMS!

    August 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Bill Carney

    More and more as Americans learn about him, Mitt's popularity will drop. Romney knows that hiding his tax returns will hurt him but releasing them will bury him. Guess we'll be stuck with Obama who I voted for but am disappointed with but I do prefer him over a corporate raider who shelters his income in foreign countries.

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Bushy Walrus

    Tax returns Mit?

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. RomneyIRA

    There is a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to show you how to make your $6,000 IRA into $100,000,000.000. Are you ready!

    @RomneyIRA

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. ptsdLOADING

    The ARomneyable Snowman doesn't favor the middleclass, he promotes foreign interests by having untaxable money in foreign countries!

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. ray gibbs

    sweet musics come Nov. 6 .

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Bob

    I don't like either, but will definitely choose Romney over Obama. No matter what. It baffles me why anyone would still vote for Obama. I don't even believe he knows what a Republic is.

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. CB

    "ORC International survey" – Yeah, I'll go by that.......

    August 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. cj1

    You are all losers. Look at you. Doesnt sound like you can think for your selves

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. REG in AZ

    It would be understandable should his unfavorable rating keep going up the more he speaks – the more arrogance he demonstrates – the more empty are his presentations – the more he shows his focus on serving "the money's" interests – the more he takes the majority for granted – and of course, the longer he refuses to release his tax returns and keeps hiding what everyone is coming to believe is there.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Bobbie

    The fact that Obama has any supporters at all just proves the old saying; 'there's a sucker born every minute'! I find it very shameful that people in this country are willing to sink into full-blown socialism because it's easier!! No work ethic, no personal responsibilty, just a government check every month!!!!!!! SAD!!

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. u laby

    Top 1% pay 36.73% of taxes
    Top 5% pay 58.66% of taxes
    Top 10% pay 70.47% of taxes
    Top 25% pay 87.30% of taxes
    Top 50% pay 97.75% of taxes
    Bottom 50% pay 2.25% of taxes

    Why are we worried about Mitt's taxes?????????????

    The rich pay all the taxes while the poor are freeloading. Time for the poor to do SOMETHING. There's no reason why half of the eligible taxpayers can't pay ANY tax.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Bob in Ohio

    Regardless of one's political beliefs, it is both sad and amusing when some people accuse CNN of being a left-leaning organization. If one truly believes this, why would one even be posting on CNN's discussion pages? And why would CNN not censure such comments? Please educate yourself as to what you are posting if you expect your comments to be taken seriously.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Ancient Texan

    Jo- At least President ROmney won't go around the world groveling and apologizing to everybody but the busboys.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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