CNN Poll: Did Romney get a convention bounce?
September 4th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Did Romney get a convention bounce?

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - It's the question everyone's asking: Did Mitt Romney get a bounce out of last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida?

According to a new national poll released Tuesday, just before the start of the Democratic convention, the GOP presidential nominee appears to have received a one-point convention bounce, normal for the modern political era.

Full results (pdf)

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A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that less than four in ten registered voters said the Republican convention made them more likely to vote for Romney, but the former Massachusetts governor got a slight bump in his favorable rating, and on being in touch with the middle class and women, although he still trails President Barack Obama on those two questions.

CNN's previous poll, released as the Republican convention got underway, indicated 49% of likely voters backing Obama, with 47% supporting Romney, a virtual tie. In the new survey, which was conducted Friday through Monday, entirely after the GOP convention, both the president and Romney are at 48%.

"The Republican convention had at best a mild effect on the presidential race, and from a statistical viewpoint, no effect at all," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Demographically, Romney's overall one-point bounce masks some movement among subgroups and suggests that Romney's pitch to some groups may have worked but at the expense of turning off another group of voters."

According to the survey, Romney gained seven points among higher-income Americans, but he lost four points among lower-income voters, among whom Obama now has a 15-point lead. That income difference may explain why Romney gained ground among urban and suburban voters, but lost support among voters in rural areas.

The poll indicates Romney may have picked up support among men, but there was no change at all among women, keeping in place a double-digit gender gap. And there's an interesting movement among age groups. Romney gained a bit among younger voters and among senior citizens, but Obama was the big winner among voters between 50 and 64 years old.

"It's possible that senior citizens who are already on Medicare have accepted the GOP assurances that their benefits will not be affected, but the group of Americans who are approaching retirement - who will be the first ones affected by the GOP-proposed changes in the Medicare system - are getting worried about what's in store for them," added Holland.

Romney gained among independent voters, with a three point 48%-45% margin last week expanding to 52%-42% advantage now.

So how does Romney's one-point bounce measure up in the history books?

"It's pretty standard for all conventions conducted since 2000. Twice during that period, candidates got a two-point bounce; twice in that same time, candidates got no bounce at all. So Romney's one-point bounce is right in the middle of the range that political junkies have come to expect in the 21st century," said Holland.

"Way back in the 20th century, candidates routinely got bounces of five to seven points, and double-digit bounces were often measured. But those days may be past us now - the combination of late-summer conventions, a compressed convention schedule, the increasing reliance on mid-summer advertising blitzes and an increasingly polarized electorate seems to have joined forces to dampen the effect of political conventions."

The convention did affect how voters view Romney. He went from a 46%-49% deficit on being a strong and decisive leader to a 48%-43% advantage. On the question of having a vision for the country's future, he went from a three-point deficit to a four-point edge.

And the GOP nominee gained about four to five points on questions about being in touch with the middle class and women, but Romney still trails Obama when voters are asked which candidate is more in touch with those two key groups.

Romney slightly closed the gap on which candidate would do a better job handling foreign policy, and he maintained an advantage over Obama on the economy, although the convention barely moved the needle on that measure despite a laser-like focus on economic issues in Tampa.

One thing that may have blunted the Republican convention's message is the perception by a majority in the poll that the GOP spent too much time criticizing the Democrats, leading only 36% of registered voters to say that the convention made them more likely to vote for Romney - a historically low number. Forty-six percent said what they saw or heard from the convention made the less likely to vote for Romney, with 13% saying it made no difference to their vote.

Romney's favorable rating appears to be on the rise, from 50% last week to 53% now, and his favorables have effectively matched Obama's rating among likely voters. But the president still maintains an edge on favorability among registered voters.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's favorable/unfavorable ratings among likely voters went from 45%-39% last week to 49%-38% now.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International August 31-September 3, with 1,005 adults nationwide, including 877 registered voters and 735 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered and likely voter questions.

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Timmeh

    Did Obama get a $120million summer ad bounce? NO!

    September 4, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Jennifer NYC

    Romney will make a terrific Presidn. We need him desperately....although I like the Democratic platform on abortion. Th GOP platform on that subject s like the Taliban. Heartless nd cruel. But Romney's focus is on fixing the economy. He isn't touching this...we need the economy turned around....first and foremost.

    September 4, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. TheVoice2

    Obama will wipe the floor with Mitt Phony in the debates.

    September 4, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. bbrooker88

    Romney's facial expressions in delivering his big speech proved to me he is 100% robot programmed with the inability to see cause and effect in regards to the economy.

    September 4, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Lean6

    Ummm...the word "bounce" NEVER comes after the value 1-point. Lol.

    September 4, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Dionysus86

    There's always a bounce after a convention. It will probably offset after this week. Where the changes really matter is after the debates.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. h2opolopunk

    Is a 1 point bounce even statistically significant? I doubt it.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Mittens

    A historically low bounce after one of the most embarrassing speeches we've ever seen? Clearly breaking news.

    September 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. The GOP Voucher Plan will include a "Legalize Euthanasia" clause and a free gun to commit suicide

    The seniors will need to commit suicide.

    September 4, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. TIm

    Unless you are a fetus or you earn over $250,000 a year, the GOP does not care about you.

    September 4, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. mandfkiwsa

    Woooo! A one-point bounce.

    September 4, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Peter Pronciple

    To me it sounds like ALL those alleged changes were within the MOE - in effect, random noise. Not much of a return on the GOP's multi-million dollar investment in an empty chair.

    Even Grandpa McCain and Cariboo Barbie did better than that.

    September 4, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. dood

    one point isn't much.

    September 4, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    I wouldn't call 1 point a bounce. It's more like a hobbled hop. Geesh! Sarah Palin gave McCain a way bigger bounce than R&R got after their convention. That says alot about the republican ticket.

    September 4, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Republicans should be grateful that their candidate is still polling so high after that unmitigated disaster of a convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. fictree

    6 days ago
    Two people removed from RNC after taunting black camera operator

    Posted by
    CNN Political Unit

    Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.”

    Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
    Just in case if any one missed reading.
    Finaly gop true color coming out.

    September 4, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    Can't wait for the debates so we can watch Romney and Ryan try to spin their lies in front of America. There has never in modern history been a more deceitful duo than Romney and Ryan. Romney makes Nixon look saintly by comparison. And if Ryan were Pinocchio, Ryan's nose would've circled the globe and found its way up Ryan's backside.

    September 4, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Dave Jaipersaud

    As and outsider, it seem as though 49% of Americans are very forgetful, very ignorant or just plain dumb.

    How can any Americans think that Romney/Ryan policies would be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. Have people forgotten what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. Are we that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.

    I guess Romney/Ryan think we are all stupid and don’t know the truth and can’t remember the dark days of the great recession of 2007 and 2008 and the years leading up to it.

    The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.

    September 4, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Nicole

    Romney should be ahead at this point- the fact he isn't (at a point where most if the public knows little about him) isn't a good sign for his chances.

    September 4, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    one-point convention bounce, normal for the modern political era
    -------------------------------------------------
    No it isn't CNN.
    Who's lying now?
    1-point. ONE POINT after all that lying hoopla? ONE lousy point?
    I guess you would have to add the disclaimer at the end of that "accomplishment".
    Let's see how many points the Prez gains after this week.

    September 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. WDinDallas

    Is that why he went up 4 points in N.C.?

    September 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. independent

    When Romney nominated Lyin Ryan he was hoping for a lift, he just didn't expect it to be generated by the Pants-on-Fire pathology of his running mate. Ryan's pants on fire (which some reports suggest is not a new phenomena for Ryan) generated enough heat to cause a temporary lift. One should expect the lift to subside once the Public actually looks at the facts...like his running time, the date the plant closed, what the President actually said, what Ryan himself voted for...etc.

    September 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Rick

    One whole point? Wow! In my book that's not a bounce, it's a thud.

    September 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. NanH

    So according to your article this is in fact NOT breaking news

    September 4, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. JDinHouston

    1% is a bounce? I thought that was just Romney's income class.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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