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. cali girl

    Really? probably from some guy who tuned in thinking it was a show with Clint guest starring, which it was.

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. cwil

    By the time the DNC is over, US will have $16 Trillion in debt.....$5 Trillion more than when Bush left office. Does this matter?

    September 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. S.positive

    Thats what you get mitt for your liessssssssss. your 1% you are protecting...

    September 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Mark Baker

    The media lies. This election is not even going to be close although the News companies and publicists will do everything in there power to make it seem close for not only rating but the cash flow.

    September 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. SPQR

    WOW that is huge.

    LOL !!!

    September 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. "We Built This"... Campaign On Lies

    I'm surprised that Romney got a point bounce at all because that republican convention was a hot mess.

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. MagicPanties

    All that work for one measly point bounce.
    2 funny.
    Show us your tax returns, Mitt the Twit.

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. GMAN-6464

    I think that the Dems should rename their convention – "The who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes convention?"

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. CNN watcher

    So let's ask ourselves the same question about the last time the GOP was in office. Were we better off after 8 years of GOP policy-making? Some of actually remember it's what caused this massive deficit in the first place.

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. SaraTX

    So even with all RoMONEY in the world, the GOP gets nothing more than a dead-cate bounce lol

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Outraged

    I think they call that a "dead cat bounce"...

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Mitt the midget

    And I believe CNN .... naw... I am going back to watching Dr. Phil

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Nuance

    The most sad and pathetic fact of all....this guy has been running for president what....for the last 5-6 yrs (maybe even longer than this), and he is still having issues "defining" himself and the American people still not knowing who he is after all this time?

    Absolutely horrible....lol.

    September 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. MagicPanties

    Maybe you really can't buy the presidency?

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Jose

    The question is not "are you better off now than 4 years ago", but...."DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO 4 YEARS AGO"........ Hell to the NO

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. not the 1%er

    I think these new tax cuts fo rthe 1% won't go to any jobs, except for the salesman selling the new yatch or jet that they will buy.

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Robert

    The dems havent even started.... His bounce will bounce back down after this week!

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Rob

    Just one? Obama is clearly the best candidate for the most Americans.

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. joet

    Doesn't say much for Romney. All party nominees, even "W" got more than that.

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. tdiamond

    There is only one poll that counts. The poll in November is the one I will pay attention to. Too many people who can manufacture these Lies, I mean statistics.

    September 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. CutTax

    libs are full of hate

    September 4, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Clear and Present Thinker

    One point following a convention is not a bounce, it's not even a speed bump. It's more like a beer can in the path of afully loaded triple-trailer truck going down hill/

    September 4, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Mama for Obama

    Obama is going to win and Romney is going to lose. We just need to put more Dems in congress so the Republicans can't throw our country and our people under the bus again. The President is going to win because he deserves to win. I think it is sad that anyone is voting for Romney @ all, but there is a lot of ignorance and predjudice out there. The good news is that the President will still win.

    September 4, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Dread

    Who are these 47% that would vote for a flip flopping, serial liar, cult member?!?

    September 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. SokrMom

    That not much to show for adding Lyin' Ryan, inviting Clint Eastwood, and holding that ridiculously well-choreographed Convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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