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. Jrd

    I'm 51 and have never had a president, candidate for, vp, congress person or the like call me and ask "how's it going?". Bottom line – none of them care except at election time. The question should be – who is the lessor of the two evils?

    September 4, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Debby

    Well its a Cnn poll what do you expect a landside. They are a liberal station.

    September 4, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. fictree

    when will romney will let out his tax for 2011?

    September 4, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Robairdo

    Woo hoo, one full point.

    September 4, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. John

    Mitt the Flipper has one advantage over Obama. He is seen as more Israel friendly and as we all know Israel has no influence on American politics (sarcasm intended)

    September 4, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Pritch

    Bush didn't do enough to curb the out of control housing market, which was a huge reason for the recession. But it was because he didn't intervene with a Conservative approach is why it happened. Liberal policies were responsible for the housing crash, not conservative ones. Bus drivers making $30,000 a year getting loans for $800k homes is ridiculous. Thats what you get with liberalism though.

    September 4, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Big George in Big D

    Independent Voter – no way does it mean Obama wins. ALL poll have a sampling (quote unquote, haha) of likely voters with at least +7 democrats; now up to +12, to make Nobama even look like he's in contention! The MSM is doing everything they can to "make" him win but ain't happin'!

    September 4, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Pritch

    I see vile and disgusting things printed or stated by liberals everyday and the left laughs about it. Make a great point on this site and watch CNN send your words to a moderator. No wonder most of America doesn't hear the truth.

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Matt

    CNN is thrilled to report that Mitt Romney only got a 1 percent bounce after his convention last week, but the bigger question is why is CNN ignoring the 16 trillion dollar U.S. debt and the 24 million people who are jobless ? Or the struggling economy ? CNN is so bias and unethical, REPORT THE REAL NEWS AND THE STRUGGLES MILLIONS ARE FACED WITH EVERY DAY UNDER BARACK OBAMA'S FAILED POLICY !!!!

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Pritch

    So mediate that one too.....

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. The Patriot

    wait if Obama wins will he blame the last presid... oh wait that was him LOL

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. romney ryan are far better for the economy of the US. obama is better for internationalists who dont like the US

    there you go....obumbler is a self loathing american.

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. lolacnnpoll

    A CNN poll has no legitimacy whatsoever. A bunch of biased left wingers making a poll...A CNN poll is about as accurate as a poll of the black ghetto in Detroit, yeah, I don't think so :)
    Romney is going to be your next president. He is white, right wing and American. Get used to it.
    Romney 2012!

    September 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. a fair wage

    Wish fox news would go back to posting and get the fox tards off CNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. BD70

    Ok no more blaming it on Bush. Blame it on all the previous presidents. Bush is blamed for 2 wars and Medicare part D. None of which was paid for and still won't be if Romney wins.

    September 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Loathstheright

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the American Voter....a vote for the GOP is a vote against everything American.

    September 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. fictree

    when will romney let votes to see his income tax files for last 10 years

    September 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. lolacnnpoll

    All left wing polls have proven to be abject lies. A CNN poll has no legitimacy at all.

    Romney wins easy. The country is against obama and the left wing, this state propaganda has no effect. Get used to it CNN, Romney will win and be the next president no matter how much you lie, distort and twist the facts. This is why your propaganda network has less ratings than late night cartoons.

    September 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I guess you could consider the CNN poll as significant. In reality though, a one point bounce for Romney on CNN is like a 10 point bounce for him anywhere else. You liberals must always remember that your coveted CNN poll is only one of many other (non-biased) measurements. I believe that the Obama ship has run aground and the rats are beginning to jump. By November the election will be a stunning referrendum on your failed President.

    September 4, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. A CNN poll? lol

    All left wing polls have proven to be abject lies. A CNN poll has no legitimacy at all.

    Romney wins easy. The country is against obama and the left wing, this state propaganda has no effect. Get used to it CNN, Romney will win and be the next president no matter how much you lie, distort and twist the facts. This is why your propaganda network has less ratings than late night cartoons.

    September 4, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. ohgran

    Reallly? -
    Really? You need to look a bit deeper at more than housing. Remember the war we didn't need to get started? Remember that Clinton left office with a surplus. What did Bush do?

    September 4, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Matt

    Even Wolf Blitzer knows the country is not better off, 4 years later yet CNN refuses to report on the real issues that the country is facing. This is disgusting and sad.

    September 4, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. A CNN poll? lol

    A CNN poll? Rofl. Polling a bunch of blacks in the ghetto or a radical left wing area is not reflective of the country CNN.

    You lie.

    September 4, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. the situation

    The Patriot
    Obama has NO record, has added 5 trillion to debt as compared to Bush's 150 billion, Obama insulted all of our allies and bowed to our enemies, all he does while a nation sinks is golf, vacation, and take credit for Bush's greatness.

    September 4, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    You must be smoking something or just a very delusional Teabagger. Bush rec'd a Surplus from Clinton to wipe out in a year of 2. Expanded the size of government. How much Billions or Trillion dollars wasted on 2 wars, 1 which America had no business in. No regulation on Wall Street and all those CEO got richer and richer. $10 Trillion Dollars was the deficit when Dubya left office. Dubya had a net loss in job creation in the 8 years he was in office.

    Must we go one about your hero!

    September 4, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    One whole point! Wow. I am devastated.
    BTW – the twit and the plate faced lying altar boy both lied about why they didn't mention Afghanistan during their speeches. Yes, the flip flopping liar talked about Afghanistan at the Veteran's dinner and unlike to what his boy toy said about lenghty discussion about it the bully bishop mentioned Afghanistan ONCE in one sentence that had something to do with WMDs. I guess he is still too dumb to understand that Iraq is one country and Afghanistan is another country and so is Iran (where he wants to send troops if he gets elected – add Syria to this short list).
    These two have been lying for so long that they can't remember what they should say. That includes bucktooth cantor from VA.

    September 4, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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