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. Abeslom

    Most candidates get 5-8 points bounce after their convention. A one point? I guess no one bought the lie Ryan was telling!!

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. efsullyjr

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

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. johndburger

    "The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points"

    Um ...

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Changecoming

    Cnn begrudgingly announce a one point swing when all independent news sources are declaring a 4-5 point uptick.

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Unbelievable, he is not connecting to voters simple

    South we don’t like him , we never felt he is one of us

    September 4, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Lean6

    "Breaking News"? Yeah...you'd better believe that Mitt Romney is ALL broken up about only a 1-point bounce right after a circus convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Khanhye East

    Is this a legitimate bounce?

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. bhartman36

    @The Real Tom Paine:

    I think conventions are antiquated. I doubt we'll see them in 10 years.

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Zaggs

    And the demographics breakdown would be where? Let me guess, polling democrats at a higher rate than 2008 turnout.

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. oreo

    if you vote for romney or Obama you should be tried for treason.

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. ptny

    One (1) point...that could be embarrassing after the months of "The King's speech" preparation and after all the King's men and all the King's dressage horses put Romney together for one night.

    September 4, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. rc roeder

    One point bounce? That is all? Gezzzz

    September 4, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. JerPell

    The United States reached 16 trillion dollars of debt today and its no where on the cnn news website...But we have nonsense like Romney's or Obama's Bounce.....And we are left to wonder why their ratings are in the toilet!

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

    That's what you get when what was upposed to be a convention turned into nothing but a Pants-on-fire-bash-Obamavention.

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. g

    Obama 2012

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. DarqueSide

    That's not a bounce! That's not even a hiccup! Oh, the shame of it!

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. firewalker

    Where are Obama's Classmates from College.......I have never hear a word from them all during Obama's Presidency

    Oh that's right Obama didn't go to college that's why we can't see his College transcripts.

    Obama the Manchurian Candidate

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. becky - Las Vegas

    Break out the suitcases! Looks like Mittens is going to the White House. NOT !

    5 days of RNC.... a few million dollars.... 1 hurricane.... a few billion.... a ONE point Republican bounce post convention to Democrats... PRICELESS !!

    September 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. NoMoreObama

    Cnn begrudgingly announce a one point swing when all independent news sources are declaring a 4-5 point uptick.

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

    Enthusiasm isn't gone for Obama...we're all just comfortable now knowing it's still Obama!

    September 4, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Larry

    C'mon Ann, just tie Mitt to the top of one of your Caddies and drive off into the sunset. Anyone who'd vote for this lying GOP ticket needs to sign a pledge that they will not whine when the country regresses from the progess made the last several years. I can't imagine this country going backwards with Romney/Ryan!

    September 4, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. DarqueSide

    Whoa! I don't think they could have set the bar any lower for the Democratic convention... it's just laying there on the floor! 1% isn't even a bump... it's like a tiny little pimple no one could possibly notice!

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. John the Historian

    Go to the planet kolob Willard and find you 56 wives like the rapist Brigham Young. Can you display the gold tablets ????

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    As and outsider, it seem as though 49% of Americans are very forgetful, very ignorant or just plain dumb.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well , actually what happened is that 49% of Americans besides being ignorant, duimb, and forgetful, also suffered from back injuries which impaired their recollection of how TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SCREWED we were left as a nation, as individuals, as an economy, as a middle-class when The Shrub left office.
    At least that's the truth if you believe Lying Ryan Pants on Fire.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Russ

    All I can say is, if this guy gets any stiffer, he'll shatter like untempered glass if he bumps into anything. A robot is more flexable than Romney. And, at least the robot wouldn't have that I'm better than thou used car salesman I just screwed you grin on his face.

    September 4, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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