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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GOP theories under Bush destroyed what Clinton left behind in terms of a good economy & a good budgetary status. What has Mitt proposed that's any different that Bush to specifically better the economy? Nothing. Has Obama shown he can manage us out of this situation either? No. Seems like real change is someone other than either of these two.
How's the rating on his wife? After all, she's his economic adviser. Should we ship more jobs overseas and than accuse our unemployed workers of being liberals and milking the system? Should we blame the democrats for class warfare that republicans have created in this country? Obama has my vote this. At least he is trying.
Just like a sports match isn't decided in the opening minutes, no U.S. Presidential Election was decided in August.
I'll wait until the Debates to see how things really shake out...until then...this is all hot air (like both parties).
He is a good flip flopper too, another good reason not to trust any of them. They promise you the world, they get in office, and then give you a permanent middle class only prostate exam.
I think the thing that bothers me is: Everyone is making a big deal over Romney's tax returns. If he is guilty of tax evasion, or some other law, then the IRS would be all over him. Who cares if he put money in overseas banks....as far as we know... HE HASN"T DONE ANYTHING ILLEGAL!!!! If you don't like the way the tax code is written, then write your Congressperson and tell them to change it. Everyone laughs at me when I bring up a flat tax....but they're usually the first to complain about how this group, or that group gets an unfair tax advantage.
Sometimes it takes a long time for the IRS to catch up with you. Whether Romney has nor has not done anything illegal is really not the point. Romney is a one percenter who favors the one percent. His policies laws would be in their favor (i.e. big tax breaks, etc.). We, the little poeple, would foot the bill. And yes, I care if he put millions in overseas banks. You do that for a reason – to avoid paying taxes. There is something that stinks about Romney. I don't trust him; I don't believe him and there is nothing sincere about him.
I do not care for either of them. Gary Johnson the Libertarian so far has my vote.
What the average american fails to realize is that our economy is based on innovation 50 year (see kondriatieff) cycles and has nothing to do with who the president is. We are now in Kondriatieff 'winter' and will not emerge for another 10-20 years. Gonna get worse before it gets better. GOP should let the Obamanator stay in office and reap the blame for the harsh years to come.
Ya, and 60% think Barak is Muslim and 80% can't name the vice president... just report the news morons and quit making it up with polls. My hell....
Voting a Chameloen as President of the US will have a great appeal to some people so he can change his color any time he wants to please them and say what they want to hear.
OH MY GOD!!!! MAINSTREAM AMERICA IS ACTUALLY REALIZING THAT ROMNEY FAVORS THE RICH!!! I THINK A PIG JUST FLEW BY MY WINDOW!!!!
So many people have tunnel vision when it comes to economic policy. We call them staunch Republicans.
The only poll to have a high-degree of accuracy is Rasmussen. But there is still a lot of movement to happen yet.
@SuperD ... The Rasmussen poll may have Romney ahead of Obama. It is a right leaning poll, please keep that in mind.
The more that this goes on (Obama's lead over Romney, the growing faction within the conservative base becoming increasingly displeased and unsupportive of Romney, the outright false, inaccurate, misleading halftruths and lies spouted by Romney and his campaign, the conflicting reports of Romney's tenure at Bain and the truthfullness and forthcoming of his role durring '99-'02, enabling tax shelters) the more I am becoming convinced that it doesn't matter.
Let us not forget that Romney needs a yet to be obtained percentage of not only women vote but also the hispanic vote the is becoming virtually unobtainable.
Also, please check out http://www.270towin.com and play around with their interactive map. If Obama gets either Pennsyvania or Florida it is almost a guarantee that Obama will win the election.
To those that continue to defend Romney and his refusal to release additional tax years ... be honest with yourself and other. I know you dont' think he is hiding anything, but he is in fact hiding something. I'm not concerned about what in his taxes he is hiding, I'm concerned that it is hiding his taxes. It lacks transparency and is secretive. The issue about his taxes could have been put to rest months and months and months ago. I understand that he is being compliant with the legal disclosure requirements but it is a good faith gesture to the American people to put this information out there so that the people can decide for themselves the quality of character of the candidate.
Is this shocking does the average american worker really trust the rich guy that closed plants to make a buck No. you have to be able to relate to average person maybe struggle just a little and I don't mean when the other rich boys picked on you at law school made fun of you because you had a bmw instead of porche
Yes but Faux News says that Romney is leading.........What ?
did any of you that trash Obama Folk think about the fact that considering where the rest of the World is at Economically to where we are and where we came from, it is amazing that we are not in a deep depression.
Whatever your affiliation is ,this Country almost fell of a cliff. No Western Country in the World is doing great right now. Even Australia and Canada are barely growing..
Some of you people are just plain stupid on voting for a party that does not giving a flying crab about the middle class..
Yea the democrats overspend , but at leas they overspend in your favor.
I am not a liberal by no means , but who gives a flying crap about Gay Marriage and the woman's right to choose if you cannot feed your Kids, pay for Health care, take a vacation and so on.
Stupid to no end...
Maybe the American electorate is paying attention after all.
@Jerry: You can *legally* do many unpatriotic things in this country. The question is: do you want a *president* who is willing to be legally unpatriotic? Wouldn't he then be more amenable to *others* being legally unpatriotic? It's a question of character and intent, and Mittens just doesn't make the grade.
On the issue of releasing tax returns, you have to wonder why Romney isn't doing it. I doubt it's simply a decision based on principle, as Romnay has to know that it's expected of anyone running for president. Some have wondered if he's done anything illegal. I doubt it, since the IRS likely would have gone after him if he had. However, I think that he has decided that releasing them would be damaging to his image in some way–more damaging that refusing to release them. Now, considering how he's getting hammered for not doing that, you have to wonder what he's trying to keep under wraps.
Republicans should forget about this one and spend the next 5 years getting their party in order. The Tea Party and neo cons have ruined everything. At this rate, we won't see a Republican in the White House for a loooonnngg time.
Obama fatigue has set in. Especially tired of his dishonest campaign tactics.
Romney is the worst nominee the GOP could have selected. Had it not been Romney they would have had a great chance to knock off Obama. As it is now, they have no chance.
We will see how well Obama is doing when he is elected once again come November!
the headline sounds more like wishful thinking on CNN's part
If Americans choose to continue with the failed record of Obama for 4 more years, they deserve to have another 4 more years of failure with the economy and jobs and risk becoming another Greece.
Unfortunately, the president is elected by the electoral college. Too bad so many Republican states have so many ignorant voters...it will be a close election.