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. Demigod Vadik, CA

    all I have to say is....

    ....BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

    September 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. M-W-T

    Mitt Romney IS and ALWAYS will be.....

    September 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Syd

    Wow. a 1 point bounce. It is amazing that after runnning for public office for 6 years, going thru last year's and this years republican primmary, and now after the convention, WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHO MITT ROMNEY IS?

    Maybe now he should start telling the truth instead of lies.

    September 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Norm

    Wood doesn't bounce.

    September 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Patrick

    A one point bounce. Ahahahaha.

    September 4, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. knmer1808

    This is what matters:

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

    September 4, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Patrick

    a one point bounce. absolutely hilarious.

    September 4, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Colin Morgan

    Wow, a whole point. slow clap?

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. NC_Mike

    "It's possible that senior citizens who are already on Medicare have accepted the GOP assurances that their benefits will not be affected"

    Ha! Now there is one BIG FAT LIE! ObamaCare reduces current seniors Medicare doughnut hole cost by an AVERAGE of $4100 over 10 years. For seniors with high drug costs, ObamaCare saves them $16,000 each. These are factual figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Paul Ryan's budget – you know, the one the Republican House PASSED and the one Romney said he'd SIGN brings back the doughnut hole. This is exactly why Romney doesn't want to talk specifics – you will not hear him mention one iota about that doughnut hole – seniors should be asking about this and what happens to Medicare when the insurance companies dump the millions of the most expensive seniors they don't want to accept vouchers from and insure – it will result certain collapse of Medicare down the road, not save it for future generations.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. cyclonus11

    That's actually pretty bad...

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. oreo

    a vote for Romney or Obama is an act of treason.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. livingston

    A whole one point. Now I see why he felt comfortable enough to take a few days off. Just goes to show you that you can't fool all the Americans.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Democrat

    GOP can get a last boost with some new method of voter supression they have not thought up yet.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Bee

    The political conventions are meaningless these days. I'm waiting for the debates. That's where Obama will grind Romney into the ground!

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. jon

    Let's just elect another Republican President so that he can promptly rip us a new like before.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. The Wandering Gentile

    One point is not a bounce. One point is a splat.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Tom

    RCP poll of polls:

    Aug 12: Obama +4.7
    Sept 4: Obama +0.1

    He's gotten a 4.6% bounce in the last three weeks. Convention bounce is lost in the noise.

    It's a dead tie, and Mitt has momentum.

    September 4, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. M-W-T

    Mitt Romney IS an ALWAYS will be .......THE WORST REPUBLICAN IN THE COUNTRY..... for POTUS.
    I don't TRUST him

    WE WILL NOT VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY........THE WORST REPUBLICAN ON THE PLANET!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. samikep

    Since this is a CNN poll I amazed that he had any movement up... Need to look at a source that isn't so for to the left.

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. bb

    It should jump even more when Bozo Biden opens his pie hole !!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Susan

    You have a pathetic country if the political mix is limited to two parties that are 50-50 at each others throats. Good luck! Religion poisons everything.

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. ttt

    Is this just a polite consolation for an impending defeat for the GOP?

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Ricky H

    I'm surprised he's doing this well. I suppose truthfulness (Ryan) and taxes are not of importance to several people. that's sad.

    September 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Hmmm

    Good to know, but not sure if this is really "Breaking News". I'd consider "Breaking News" to be something like "Romney drops out of race and invites all of the 1% to move with him to Antarctica, which he just bought using the interest he made on his accounts in the Cayman Islands".

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Steve

    Looks like Romney and Ryan need to get the misinformation band wagon rolling.

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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