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.
Oh...Great! More bad news!!
Gee I am surprised given that the guy refuses to give up his taxes as the last 36 presidental candidates have done and the fact that he wants to give the rich more and more while taking from teacher, poor, middle class, old, public safety, etc.....Oh yea less goverment regulation on folks like Enron, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Leman Bros, Banks, bil oil Yea that idea worked great under Bush. Plus the one reason I might have voted for this guy was his "only" one statement that he would make E-Verify mandatory nationwide and give states the right to enforce laws against illegal aliens......But I have not heard a word about this for a year because he weaseled on the issue. Hope all we have is a choice of bad (Obama) and extremely bad (Romney). Me I am voting third party. Press 1 for English.
I wanted "Change" as my small business entered the dark tunnel in 2008. I'm moving along slowly touching the sides of the tunnel looking for my small business to go "Forward". With the current administration, the change I got was unwelcomed and the motion "Forward" has stopped casue there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Vote Romney and let him turn the Light on. That is what I "Believe"! Romney 2012!
The vast majority of Americans knows Romney is not the answer! He would make things much worse and hand over the middle class to the wealthy!
The election is the second Tuesday in November, until then, the opinion polls are, perhaps interesting, but certainly not conclusively indicative.
Juan – is that also why it is the least read major news outlet?
I think you need some new sources to get your info and not just take what CNN says about themselves as true.
Wonderful news. Anything that is bad for Mittens Rawmoney is good for America. Let's hope this trend continues.
Obama has the same wall street, banksters in his pocket as well.
They're one in the same.
Same Agenda will be shoved down our throats.
Do you all delusions of being on "The Network?" Which character are you?
The Audacity of Hopeless
ONE REASON THAT MITT IS LOSING
There is no way in h e l l that Evangelicals, Jews and Catholics are going to desecrate their religious beliefs to vote for a Mormon, who if elected, will take the Presidential oath on “The Book Of Mormon”.
I guarantee it!!
We will not tolerate another term for the commie Obama no matter what the american people say at the ballot box. Relecting Obama merely invalidates the whole process and we will step in and correct the situation.
Oh, golly gee, MORE Reich Wing threats of violence if they don't get their way.
Hey, boyo, it's a democracy, no matter how much you hate that.
Bobbie, you need to open your eyes & not just take talking points from Fox/Hannity folks. I work hard, never needed a handout & support my president for two simple reasons.
1. I am far better off financially than the misery I was in in the fall of 2008.
2. Believe all the partisan politics are being done by the GOP for one simple reason – To eliminate Obama.
The Right & Mr. Romney have produced NOTHING of their plan to change the country for the better. Only rhetoric...
In your dreams @lamestreammedia -is that you sista sarah? Only she seems to use that stupid phrase.
Then, educate me, Bob, how a policy of outsourcing, for the rich to get richer, and a lower tax rate for the rich, for the rich gets richer, solves the national debts and employment problems? We have tried 8 years of big tax cut, what we ended up was a collapse of financial system. The rich gets richer, the middle got sunk to the bottom. If you believe GREED is GOOD, that your choice, we have enuf proof that GREED is GOOD only for the selected few but VERY BAD for the majority. Yet, I have no problem you leave USA to become a citizen of Bahama or Cayman Island, and wish you luck. But, dont try to educate us something that already proven to be a failure.
Who should run the country?
The wise people will vote for the successful businessman.
The deceived will vote for the community agitator.
I love how CNN buries the story about Joe Soptic.
Romney bought the GOP nomination even though Republicans don't like him.
Now he thinks that he can buy the White House.
Mitt Romney wants to get rich people richer.
The greed of the rich is quite apparent. It is the ugliest disease of capitalism. Of course they are going to try to elect someone with the same affliction. It is in their best interest.
YOU NEED TO BE REPORTED TO THE FBI AND JAILED!!!!!!!!!!!!
Push poll. Watch the lemmings follow.
If Romney is on the time table for releasing tax returns like Obama releasing his birth certificate we've got 3 more years to go before we see them...
Mr. Romney, it takes honesty and integrity to be the President of the United States of America. You sir have not one of the two.
Hey bob, go back to Faux News or Drudge where your wacko name-calling are appreciated.