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. Said Adam

    hope obama wins because Mit don t seem to have ideas

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Really?

    Why does the DNC insist on referring to the Bush era that "got us here in the first place"? One second of research or you might even remember that Clinton started the Affordable Housing and the 1995 Regulatory Changes. Clinton made less stringent loans NOT Bush! The real estate boom started during Clinton and ended under Bush.

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Breaking news?????

    September 4, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Tiz

    When are they announcing that the "Stadium Speech" that Obama gives the last day is being moved indoors to a smaller venue because they can't fill the seats? Do they announce that tomorrow or do they wait until the last minute and make something up?

    September 4, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Independent Voter

    That means Obama will win his re-election.....if the election is held today...and November 6, 2012....Cheers

    September 4, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Repubs are clowns

    wow...i know a close race is good for business, CNN, but geez...is this really breaking news?

    September 4, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Really?

    HUH?.. I am right there with you.

    September 4, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Dave

    The GOP isn't stupid enough to believe that Robmey can actually fix the economy with his pitiful skills at management and business, BUT they are hoping that YOU are stupid enough to.

    September 4, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. RW

    Typically the convention bump is 4 points, Robbme gets one....and that one was purchased by Israel.

    September 4, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. mcfarlas47

    People!! What part of "broke" don't you understand?? There is NO money for medicare, social security, so-called affordable health care, military, social programs. It's all gone. All of it. Obama has tried hard to buy prosperity and jobs. It failed. And he wants to do it all over again! And you all bicker and snipe about inconsequential crap. We are teetering on the edge of the biggest depression the world has seen. Government is all about business and the laws that dominate business. Let the smart businessman try. What the hell. If something doesn't change our kids are doomed and I mean doomed.

    September 4, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Norm

    Serious The Patriot you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Go do a little reading then get back to us.

    September 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Jeff

    CNN you forget to say that your main target is DEMs as it is always. You don't poll the same percentage of each. Bias yeah I think so.

    September 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Jared

    At the end of the day the People will decide whether another four years like what we've just had is good leadership or not... If Obama was a CEO of any firm that reported to shareholders he would have been sacked after 18months of service.. the problem with this country is that we have a signifiant population of the USA that relies heavily on Government handouts and they will continue to vote for whoever they feel will give them the most for nothing...

    September 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Derek

    As a Canadian looking in from an outside view, you are not in touch with the real world if you vote for Romney. I can tell you if Obama ran in Canada he would win by a landslide. The Repubs no nothing of socialism. Just because you have Government looking after certain programs does not make you a socialist. We have Government running healthcare and education and the BANKS. Canada was the only G8 country to not fall into recession as a side point.

    September 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. dave

    Mitt is gonna turn this country around for the better.Don't worry gays,lesbians,baby killers and u.s.a haters a.k.a the democrats you will be included too.

    September 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. m

    He probably lost that 1 point by showing off in the boat yesterday – so he is back to sqaure one !

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. bluedogboy

    No surprise. That convention was a real snoozer.

    Democrats will have a more productive convention.

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Abel Arce

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new president !!!!

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. bobpitt

    At Patriot: you are not a patriot.. you forget thet Regan six folded the debt, had the higgest taxes in the history of the US, Bush wasn't much better he added 6 trillions to the debt,, and three trillions that still has to be added with two unnecessary wars..

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Anon 2012

    So the answer to that question is No. Mitt Romney received no bounce. I point is not a bounce.
    I some how suspect if president Obama only increases his support by one point after this week the headline will not be a question. It would glaringly proclaim he received no bounce.

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Diane

    Dumbest *ss poll ever! CNN is by far the worst news reporting agency on the planet. 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. Who the heck cares about "likely" voters? Really, CNN?

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. voting for obama in ohio

    pat carr-that is shameful and so completely ignorant. I know many many hard
    working minorities–some who would take jobs you might never consider because–
    oops the pay is too low. At some point your ancestors came here too.
    We could spend a lot of time debating how ignorant your comment is. I guess if you are not
    white and successful then you are not american? Is that right? If this kind of drivel ever
    came out of my kids' mouth you can bet we'd be having a talk.

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. The Patriot

    Obama wins = 2nd civil war, which means all liberal will be driven out of the country and their 50 year long plan of making the USA communist will fail HAHAHAHAHAHA either way libs lose

    September 4, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Drtechy

    How is one point considered breaking news?

    September 4, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. kathy/Minnesota

    Seems fitting:1 POINT FOR THE 1%.

    September 4, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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