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. Jim Hahn

    It's what I've been saying all along. If Romney is elected President, America will become a country run by the rich, for the benefit of the rich, with the middle class, the poor and the elderly picking up the tab. All those hands who forked out with multimillion dollar contributions are going to go away empty! Did you think they would? Have wealthy people ever contributed the a political party/politician without the expectation of something in return? NEVER! Americans are finally beginning to wake up to what the new Republican Party is trying to do to America. Even their "spiritual leader" Ronald Reagan couldn't get elected by the new GOP.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. BeverlyNC

    Once the debates are over and Romney had to speak and answer real questions without a script – President Obama's lead will be 20 points. Romney is no leader and has nothing to offer the American People but destruction of every program we depend on -like Medicare, Social Security, public education, college loans, unemployment insurance, healthcare, veteran benefits and veteran pensions, workers comp, rights of women to equal pay, rights of women over their own bodies and healthcare, rights of all citizens to vote, and the right not to fight made-up wars so Defense contractors can make millions from the murder of our soldiers. No More Republicans in any local, state, or national seat. We need a sane Congress that knows their oath is to serve We the People, not obstruct all legislation for Jobs, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education as priority, New Energy sources as a priority. We need leaders in our Congress who know how to govern, how to compromise, how to put out legislation to restore America vs. destroying it for their poltical games. No Romney. No extremist Republicans = a recovered, successful America for ALL People. An actual democracy where People matter.

    August 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. Bushy Walrus

    Romney is the only man I know that has an elevator.....for his car.

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. DRE

    More than likely Obama has a greater lead over Romney than reported. Romney just can't be trusted. He's wealthy and simply out to increase his wealth at the middle-classes expense. Think about it...

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Ben Bernanke

    CNN polled 172 more Democrats for this poll FWIW. Not a legitimate poll in the slightest.

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. John

    Romney is tanking and the GOP supporters are whining about the results. Romney refuses to release his tax returns. He is much too secretive and has not laid out the case to be president. Tax returns are not a private matter when you are running to be president of the United States. The American people want transparency. He has nobody else to blame but himself.

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. John

    This will only get worse, until he finally decides to release his tax returns....if he was smart, he would do it before the convention, so they have time to change the subject......

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Leopold

    Yes Obama will probably win. And we will continue our downward spiral. The propaganda attacks are working which one could certainly predict based on how uninformed many Americans are. It is unfortunate because the Obama campaign has focused on peripheral issues, and it is amazing how successfully they have done so. So he will get re-elected even though he has not really earned it and we will be in big trouble. Shrug. Our choice.

    August 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Kbone3

    People are starting to see that Romney would be just more of same old Republican way of things. Cut taxes, start wars, and fight wars. Nothing new would get done if Romney wins. At least President Obama tries new things and has some new ideas.

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. TTrocks

    I'm still looking for all this hype that Obama so called did and accomplished. Romney not looking good either. Think will stay home this November. Better yet I might just watch Fox news, it is the higest rated and so tired of the hog wash that these others are broadcasting just to take the attn off what Obama didn't do.

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Lovey

    God help us if Obama gets re-elected!

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Dan

    I do not care if Romney is Rich, will support the Rich etc etc. Where are the improvements in the last couple of years?. We need a businessman to run our country not a professor. Sorry CNN....good try though.

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Bushy Walrus

    I like it.... Tim Tebow for VP. he could Te bow before congress and get anything he wants. WOW

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Nice try CNN.....But I for one am not buying it. People will come out in droves this November to do away with this abysmal president and his socialist agenda, and then Obama can ride off into the sunset,( still blaming Bush for his troubles of course) hopefully never to be heard from again.

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

    woooooooo. ya baby. looks like the gop are going to be toast. not a day to soon either. romney did it to himself . no tax returns..outsourcing jobs. greedy personal profit before anybody else. bain bain bain oh the bain of it all. Go Obama/biden 2012. You the man.

    August 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. bb

    President Obama's lead will be wider than the Grand Canyon after the presidential debates when America sees Robmey try to cover his old lies with new ones.

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Debby

    Its funny how we never get polled. I wonder what states they are taking them.

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Terry

    Nice try CNN.....But I for one am not buying it. People will come out in droves this November to do away with this abysmal president and his socialist agenda, and then Obama can ride off into the sunset,( still blaming Bush for his troubles of course) hopefully never to be heard from again.

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. CB

    Bushy – question: Why? If there was probable cause that Gov. Romney cheated his taxes, he would have been charged, at which time that's public record. So he shows his tax records that will show he is wealthy so those of you on the left can say "He's wealthy" – since you have outlawed anyone who does well you'll try to pull the rest of the weak-minded as Obama has to persons as yourself to vote for him. Listen, you bought the Snake Oil, and now you are going back for seconds. Don't think that the rest of us are as asinine as yourself! Why not ask Obama to release his LSAT numbers, and his college tuition papers? What is he scared of?

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. And???

    So Mitt favors the rich.

    "I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you've earned, but "not greed" to want to take somebody else's money." Thomas Sowell

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

    Probably less the negative campaigning than people finally hearing Romney speaking off-script and realizing how utterly out of touch he is with the less-than-uber-wealthy and how unqualified he is to hold the office. Is anyone really swayed by negative campaign ads? How uninformed and impressionable would you have to be to believe that BS?

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. mrTestosteroni

    Every time I think of Romney, I remember his 'I'm severely conservative' comment. You can be severely injured, severely ill, something can be severely damaged, you can have severe weather, but you cannot be severely conservative. Unless you're referring to the degree to which you are a very bad conservative. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what Mitt is.
    I mean really, how can a conservative be anything else?

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. josh

    You didn't build that! Romney 2012.

    August 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Nathan

    These numbers are going to make it hard for Romney to get someone to take the VP slot. Hemayhave to go back to Palin. Wouldn't that be nice.

    August 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. bob

    CNN has become a poll follower, trying to get their ratings up by mis-representing conservative America.

    August 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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