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. Ricnj

    Is this really news? It certainly not breaking news.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Captain Obvious

    Time for Republicans to dig in and work even harder to tank the economy. Maybe then they'll have a chance in 2016.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Too Much

    One point is within the margin for error...this shouldn't be across the top of the website as if its some sort of major breaking news.

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

    Mittens is just an idiot.

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Ed in Reno, Nevada

    Yawn! Did I miss anything?

    September 4, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. bhartman36

    I think that margin on the independent vote is critical. Those are the people Romney and Obama are really fighting for.

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Steve

    So it is news that Romney gets a 1% bounce??? That is well within the margin of error? You'd think the nation convention should produce more than that even if it is temporary.

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Daniels

    I've seen wet sponges bounce higher.

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Uh Jeez

    A one point "bounce" isn't even a feeble stumble. Is the author of this article and his/her editor kidding?

    September 4, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Don

    Wow, 1 point!!! What did that point cost? LOL. It will also go away by the end of the week. No more political donations that can be written off. That would change the game, forever.

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. mike48179

    People are finally starting to wake up!

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. pbernasc

    this is breaking news .. he he .. it is the breaking of any Romney GOP hope ... not that this is in any way surprising ..

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

    If he got a bounce so be it but for me and my house we're voting fo Preident Obama!

    September 4, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    So, after all the bashing, the needle moved one point in Romney's favor: presumably it will move back down a point after this week. It begs the question as to whether or not the parties need to bother with a convention at all.

    September 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. JDinHouston

    Further proof Romney is nothing more than a one-percenter.

    September 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. myintx

    Bush #1 lost because he broke his 'no new taxes' pledge. Obama will loose for the same reason. (Obamacare is loaded with taxes in case anyone didn't know)

    September 4, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Conrad Murray

    Breaking news?

    really?

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. the situation

    LOL! 1% bounce. The Repubs were talking at least 3-5% bounce. Even McSenile with Caribou Barbie got a nice bounce after the 2008 GOP Convention.

    Romney has no room for error between now and November 6. Any gaffes, unless if their is a September/October surprise.

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Darlene

    After all that money spent and all them lies told and even Clint Eatwood's senior moment....just a 1% bounce? Wow and they talk about Obama wasting other people's money!

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Liz in Seattle

    Did the poll include only people who actually watched the convention? Or is it mostly just people making stuff up based on hearsay and media reports?

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hmm. 1% bump. Even Dubya did better back in 2008! With excitement like that, it may be mistaken for either unbridled enthusiasm or a mandate.

    September 4, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Matt Lundgren

    Game on. 48-48

    September 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. efsullyjr

    Why did the Republicans have to "humanize" Romney? Is he not human? Is he a robot? Maybe we need to see HIS birth certificate.

    September 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Dave

    Wow, all that crap for a 1 point bump? Romney will lose that after the Democratic convention. What a waste.

    September 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Veritas Lavinga

    Actually it's more like Obama: 44% Romney 52%

    It doesn't make any sense that a liberal-biased CNN poll has them both at 48%.

    September 4, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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