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

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

    “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”

    Somehow CNN will find a piece of good news for Mitt Romney

    August 9, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. King

    lesson folks, this president have taken a financial crash "the second one in history " and miraculously turned around in 3 years, on heard of, since the first one brought on a depression, 20 years of pure hell, and multiple presidents to fix, including a world war. now the financial sector is grown collosus, folks have about three trillion dollars on their books and doesn't know what to do with it. if this was the 70s 80s or 90s, unemployment would probably be at 2 percent right now with businesses having so much money. the problem is, we are in a global market now, that means businesses are replacing human workers with technology to compete with their international counterparts. so workers are getting left behind. Obama needs to push Congress to start his massive infrastructures rebuilding to use our traditional trade skills to good use, before machines takes that over too.

    August 9, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Jon

    10% of the polling sample cuold not even vote, because they are not registered voters ... CNN did it again, they grabbed a bad sample. It is not importanat what registered voters think ... what matters is what registered voters that will vote think.

    On the other hand, if you are trying to help get Obama re-elected, then CNN grabbed the right polling sample. Polls influence how people vote ... so helping people believe that Obama will win can only help Obama.

    I think it is time we organize a watch dog organization that rates the Media outlets for honesty ane acuracy ... this report and the deception it created ... 3 "pants on fire."

    August 9, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    @Big George in Big D
    “Rasmussen has Romney 7 over Nobama. Guess its just which poll you choose to believe.”

    That is bad news for Mitt Romney, Rasmussen poll 90% participants are republicans

    August 9, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. cubsguy4

    Hey libs can you tell me what positive reaction the market has taken since prince Obama has taken office.....I thought so.

    Oh by the way using lame excuses like this is what was handed to him doesn't count.

    August 9, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. MightyMoo

    Unlike Romney, Obama followed Mitt's fathers example in releasing tax returns. Amazing how the son of a man who set the standard for presidential candidates won't follow his own fathers example with his own tax returns.

    August 9, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. macbil

    WHAT ROMNEY MAY BE HIDING IN TAX RETURNS HE WON'T RELEASE:
    1. He either paid no federal taxes some years or less than the 14% he paid in 2010
    2. Part of the reason he paid no or so little tax was because of huge donations to the Morman Church he doesn't want the evangelicals who are very important to his chances to see
    3. All the moving of money around by his accountants had so he would have less money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands in 2010, the year he wanted to make public
    4. He probably took huge deductions for what he spent when he was working on the 2002 Olympics and doesn't want to look like he was taking advantage of the situation
    5. He was getting paid by Bain, so all the was he/wasn't he responsible for decisions made post 1999 will be settled: he WAS responsible

    August 9, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Paul

    The tax return issue is leaving a bitter taste in everyone's mouth that I know. Even my Republican friends are saying the longer the tax return issue plays out the more folks are going to turn against him and think he is shady. If he doesn't release the tax returns, he is losing the election. End of story. Everyone I know(even Republicans) already says they won't vote for him due to the fact he can't be trusted and has something to hide

    August 9, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. bob

    Lets see, we are to beleive that CNN with its Fair and Balanced news reporting ????????? with a viewership less than
    Sesame Street.... a liberal mind set gives the socialist POTUS,,,actually a Marxist a 7 point lead.... that lead must be as the result of polling between the GM union which received 100% of their pention and the welfare ilk who want more... please stop the propaganda+..........Obama is an EMPTY SUIT

    August 9, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Speaking of Hope and Change

    SuperD: CNN, Rasmussen recent poll out today has it Romney 47% Obama 43% one of you is horribly wrong. Obamaloney aint no 7% up on nothing.

    _______________________

    Rasmussen is notoriously wrong. The discrepancies between Rasmussen Reports polls and those issued by other companies were apparent from virtually the first day that Barack Obama took office. Rasmussen showed Barack Obama’s disapproval rating at 36 percent, for instance, just a week after his inauguration, at a point when no other pollster had that figure higher than 20 percent.

    So sorry pal, your friends at Rasmussen (who are frequently hired by Fox News) have already been found to be biased compared to just about ANY other polling establishment out there.

    August 9, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Vijay

    If the President gets re-elected, I am sure he will act in the best interests of this country. A small, impartial cut on all Governmental programs (including Social Security, Medicare Aid, Defense etc.)., more investments on infrastructure, closing tax loopholes, encouraging private investments, encouraging exports will sure put US back into the path of greatness.

    August 9, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Jake

    Romney has made a career of alienating entire groups of people. He is not even an option!

    August 9, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. fletch

    cubsguy4 –

    The S&P was at 805 Jan 20 2009. It's now over 1400.

    That is a 75% percent INCREASE.

    Clearly you need to buff up on your financial knowledge.

    August 9, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Michael in Houston

    You folks in the GOP sure know how to pick em!! I find it hilarious that the best you could come up with is the candidate you despise the most. Talk about being totally dysfunctional. Only todays GOP could come up with that one. Face it....your party is obsolete and no longer serves a purpose for this Nation. You wanted war with the middle class, the poor, the moderates, the independents, the democrats...you got it. See you in November when this Nation AGAIN rejects your agenda, your freakshow candidates, and your disease.

    August 9, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. herb

    I have always felt a good businessman does not necessarily make a good president and you have to care about everyone Romney seems like he will say anything to win and making money for a company is not the same as making the country stable . when you cut jobs or cut programs to make a company profitable you don't really worry about the people as unemployment and other personal choices are not your problem but as president every cut in people or programs while helping the outlook of country also causes other worries as they become your problem also.

    August 9, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Register voters huh? Well, quite a few never vote so 30-50% of the responses are useless. LIKELY voters are what matters. But what really matters are state by state polls. National polls are useless. Romney hasn't even begun to roll out the campaign yet while Obama's spent like crazy as is hurting for money. Very bad move as the economy worses.

    August 9, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. art

    Considering the way the polls are solidifying, the repubs might as well start planning their second inaugural night DC dinner on how to block Obama on everything in his second term. The first dinner really hasn't worked out that well for the righties or the country.

    August 9, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Bermille

    Clearly if CNN polls tend to trend democrat, then any other poll could trend republican. So I would say the republicans are strengthening their support of their candidate and the same could be said of the democrats.

    August 9, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. BLKMANinAmerica

    WOW, so the fact that most people who work for a living REALIZE repuks in general do NOT mean us any good at all. This has nothing to do with his "unfaverable" rating correct? CNN PLEASE..........stop trying to pick the President it didn't work in 2000 (and I'm sure the media knows WHY) it won't work for sure in 2012. Just report the information not spin it.

    August 9, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Marc

    This poll and others seems to show that eyes are opening as to the effects of not just Romney's economic policy but the Republican economic philosophy as a whole. We've experienced the Republican economic philosophy since 1980 (even under Clinton) and now the American people are seeing it for what it is and understanding that the fantasy of lower taxes for everyone and solid public programs makes no sense. Popular programs require spending. Getting out of a recession requires spending. These are not ideological positions but historic fact. To spend, we need revenue. Cutting taxes at the top doesn't create a society of equal economic opportunity. It creates economic imbalance. Unregulated markets don't govern themselves. They allow corruption and unethical finance practices that put everyone at risk. The Republican economic ideals and free market philosophies of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman have been tried and found wanting. I hope this poll, as well as others that seem to dismiss Romney, are evidence that Americans are waking up to reality. We need regulation. We need fair taxation, even if that means the wealthy have to pay a little more. We need systems that work to strengthen the middle class not strangle it.

    August 9, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Bill

    @cubsguy4

    "Hey libs can you tell me what positive reaction the market has taken since prince Obama has taken office.....I thought so."

    Not sure where you have been, but the market was under 7000 when Obama took office. Last I checked today, it was over 13,000. Not to mention over 4 million new jobs. Get a grip bub.

    August 9, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. mike hunt

    i always find it funny when CNN relies on their own poll to support their own left wing view of polotics. if mitt truly was doing worse than obama, why wouldnt they cite an independent poll? the fact that a cnn poll shows obama only ahead of mitt by 7 points means bad news for obama when 90% of cnn readers are pro obama.

    August 9, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Wee Publican

    I only like polls when my side is winning.
    I need some cheese to go with my whine.

    August 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Speaking of Hope and Change

    SuperD: CNN, Rasmussen recent poll out today has it Romney 47% Obama 43% one of you is horribly wrong. Obamaloney aint no 7% up on nothing.

    _______________________

    Rasmussen is notoriously wrong. The discrepancies between Rasmussen Reports polls and those issued by other companies were apparent from virtually the first day that Barack Obama took office. Rasmussen showed Barack Obama’s disapproval rating at 36 percent, for instance, just a week after his inauguration, at a point when no other pollster had that figure higher than 20 percent.

    So sorry pal, your friends at Rasmussen (who are frequently hired by Fox News) have already been found to be biased compared to just about ANY other polling establishment out there.

    August 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Jake

    Only in the CNN rating poll is obama ahead of Romney. Now explain why any freedom loving American would actually vote for Obama again? How is his socialistic policies going to affect freedom of the press, 2nd Amendment rights, and the American dream THAT all people willing to work can actually become financially independent. Also Obama's backstabbing ads and lies will affect all Americans. Check out the latest on Medicare and how it will nearly double by the year 2014, again under Obama! Also jobs lost to his lack of growth in business or how to even remedy the situation. Also in the sneaky healthcare bill-Any American that sells their home in 2013 will be stuck with a hefty additional tax to pay. Me–well I am voting for the other guy!!!

    August 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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