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. Smeagel4T

    Why did Romney “volunteer” to run the Olympics? Because as a good businessman, he saw a profit in it:

    While running the Olympics, Mitt Romney steered millions of dollars in Olympic contracts to Bain Capital subsidiaries that he owned, including Sealy Mattress, Domino's Pizza, and Marriott Hotels.

    Romney offered Office Depot a contract buy-out and a $1 million payoff so that he could give their Olympic contract to Staples, a Bain-owned company.

    Romney took his Olympic profits and hid them overseas in the Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying taxes on them. He won't even release his records from running the Olympics to show us exactly how much he made off the Games.

    August 9, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. FahQtoo

    Mitt Romney is about as appealing as a peice of soggy white bread. What a whimp!

    August 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. pflatman

    Like a broken record: Democrats and Obama are not really doing much to energize their base, but the Republicans are turning so many voters away, it's ridiculous. The Republican party has become a disaster.

    August 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Jeff--Tacoma

    My grandmother use to say about my Uncle..."He'd rather climb a light pole and tell you a lie, than stand on the ground and tell you the truth".

    Mitt reminds me alot of my uncle.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. myviewis

    So is this poll saying that we're looking for sure at another 4 years of us supporting all those that don't like to work and magically end up getting approved for welfare, food stamps, free contraceptions, free abortions, higher business taxes, no freedom of speech (Chik-fill-A)????? Oh wait, another 4 years of high unemployment???? wow, the future doesn't look for bright for the USA does it????? Hey, at least all those that get Welfare, free Obamacare can enjoy staying late in bed while the rest of us fools fight traffic on our way to work.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. BuckUpUS

    I"I love the south. I have fiends who own NASCAR teams !"

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Nan

    @Cubsguy: Do you purposely choose to ignore the facts? Job loss right before he took office was over 700,000 per month; now we are adding have have been steadily adding for quite some time. Could do even more if Congress would approve jobs bills. Also, have you seen the stock market? Wasn't it at 8000 points when Obama took office? Really, do some research before you yap.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. tm1946

    Mit Romney better get off his ass and build a fire under his staff. Just going thru the motions and standing there and your butt can go back to MA.

    I will never vote for Obama but there are a whole lot of people who will. Minorities will back Obama no matter what, so if Romney wants to be Pres, he better get his staff going.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. BuckUpUS

    I"I love the south. I have friends who own NASCAR teams !"

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. John Vance

    Everyone's "unfavorables" will continue to rise if the current atmosphere continues. The bases are already affixed in their positions and will not be affected by the ad wars. The independent undecideds are really going to dislike both of these guys if this keeps up, and the undecideds will decide the election.
    Of course if this is intended to keep the moderates at home with intractable nausea and disgust, it just may work.

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Tao

    No one should vote for Romney. But if he wants any hope:
    Show your taxes; Give us a plan of what you will do; Actually answer questions.
    He is such a wimp that he won’t even commit to supporting equal pay for women!

    August 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. MORE TAX CUTS, TAX LOOPHOLES FOR BILLIONAIRES!!!!

    We all need to rally behind Romney to get more tax cuts and tax loopholes for the billionaires, according to ABC Faux News!

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. ktown8

    Last I heard, the popular vote doesn't win the election.........the most electoral votes do. Of course the millions of people in California and the cesspool that is NY are going to be Obama supporters. We have a long way to go. Calm down people.

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Charlie from the North

    It is not all Romney's fault that he is so unlikable. Some of the fault lies with his staff and some of it lies with the GOP for allowing the Tea Party to have too much say. After all before the Tea Party hijacked the GOP Romney was a moderate millionaire pro choice, pro marriage equality. Now his problem is that the people who believe him do not like what he says and the people who like what he says don't quite believe him.

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Twins1994

    Thursday, August 09, 2012

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 43%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

    The president enjoyed a bounce immediately following release of last week’s job report. However, the bounce has faded, and the race is back to where it was just before Friday’s report. See tracking history. Following that jobs report, consumer confidence fell to a new 2012 low yesterday and is barely above that low today. Just 24% believe the jobs market has improved over the past year, while 44% believe it has gotten worse.

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. John

    Well Obama favors the poor and takes from the rich. Quit giving something for nothing.

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Are there any polls or studies showing how likely it is that people polled for these polls will be disenfranchised by some nutty GOP/Teatroll legislation regarding Voter ID, early voting or other efforts they're making to suppress minority, youth and elderly votes?

    I mean, it's all well and good to poll "likely voters" but the reality is that most people who are the targets of GOP voter suppression efforts probably think they are safely registered to vote and won't find out their vote has been suppressed until some smirking GOP poll volunteer tells them they can't vote on election day...then let's loose with something snide like "now go home and watch Oprah."

    You understanding this CNN? YOUR JOB as an outfit claiming to perform the societal service known as "journalism" is to start taking these threats to voting rights seriously and DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP INFORM PEOPLE HOW TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN VOTE. THAT would be considered public service and good journalism. This other crap is just waving something flaccid and wrinkled in the wind.

    August 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Better release those returns before the lead swells to double digits in September.
    Mitt the twit Robmey Hood is going to lose badly. Just a matter of how badly.
    Love the etch a sketch by Saul yesterday to reaffirm our knowledge that the ACA (Obamneycare) is a great thing for all middle class working people. Now we don't all have to move to MA to make sure we're covered. Thanks for the heads-up Andrea!
    Release the taxes Willard! That 100 million IRA isn't going to explain itself!

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

    bye bye mitt

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

    Karl Rove says never mind what the polls say. Romney is WINNING! Apparently, he's been hanging out with Charlie Sheen.

    August 9, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Alina1

    Oh boy, that's exactly what Rick Santorum was predicting: "He is the worst Republican candidate EVER".

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

    ROMNEY is hiding a ton of information in his taxes that he KNOWS the AMERICAN PUBLIC would be DISGUSTED with! He can not be trusted. He's gotten to the place were he can't keep his leis straight!
    Which way the wind blows Romney.
    OBAMA 2012

    And obama is hiding his own skeletons as well, whats the difference. I think even if he released his tax returns it would be horrible for him. Taxes for romney are a no win situation at this point. He really should of been smarter and released during the primaries so by now they would of been a dead issue, and one less thing obama could slam him with.

    I realy forsee the months up to the election distraction after distraction and probably one of the most negative campaigns in years. I dont see any hope or change just further misery in the next 4 years. I do not see anything good out of this election cycle, since neither candidate is worth a flip. With obama the worse of two evils I would rather vote for mickey mouse although. I wish we could really get some truth since neither wants to be honest with the US.

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

    I hope he picks Cheney as his VP.

    August 9, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. G Foster

    This will surely prompt conservatives to rip out even more ballot box rules and regs and stoppage to prevent as many non-Republicans from voting as possible.

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

    So you dont like the CNN poll, take a look at other polls, right in line with CNN

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