CNN Poll: Obama up six points over Romney
September 10th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama up six points over Romney

(CNN) – A new survey indicates President Barack Obama moved up four points following the Democratic National Convention last week, and now has a six point advantage over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll (PDF) released Monday, 52% of likely voters nationwide back the president, compared to 46% for Romney. Just before the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama was tied with Romney 48%-48%.

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"The Democratic convention was fairly well received, particularly in comparison to the GOP meeting the previous week in Tampa," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

The convention energized–at least temporarily– the Democratic base, as more Democrats (59%) than Republicans (57%) seemed to be enthusiastic about voting. This marks a turnaround from last week, when the number of Republicans who said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting was six points higher than for Democrats.

While the survey shows several changes coming out of the last two weeks, it's important to note that post-convention bounces have often proven to be temporary in past elections. A candidate may get a mild boost after a party gathering, but the question is whether the White House hopeful can sustain the momentum in the following weeks.

"The advantage of going second is you get the last word," an Obama campaign official told CNN reporters covering the Charlotte convention last week.

In fact convention bounces have become increasingly modest in the 21st century, so much so that Obama's four-point boost is considered high compared to other candidates in the last eight years. Romney's support increased only one point after this year's GOP convention, and Sen. John McCain gained no ground at all after the 2008 Republican event.

This year's Democratic event wiped away some of Romney's gains on personal qualities. The Republican nominee's favorable rating increased to 53% after the GOP convention, but fell to 48% one week later after the Democratic event. Meanwhile, Obama rose to 57% in the last week, his highest mark since 2010.

Obama also took away Romney's lead on leadership for the country's future. Now 51% of likely voters think Obama has a more optimistic vision for the country's future, compared to Romney at 41%. Last week, however, 43% said Obama was more optimistic, while 47% said the same about Romney.

Another takeaway from the two conventions was that Obama seemed to come out as the candidate with a more specific plan to help the country. Before the Republican event, 45% thought Romney was more likely to have a clear plan, while only 39% felt the same about the president. Now the two have switched places, with 45% saying Obama has a clear plan, compared 39% saying the same about Romney.

Indeed, the two events stood in contrast in terms of messaging. The Republican convention, including Romney's speech on the final night, was highly critical of Obama, and speakers repeatedly warned of another four years under his leadership.

"You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him," Romney said in one of the most pivotal moments of his speech.

Meanwhile, the Democratic convention sought to bolster Obama's work over the last three and a half years, particularly highlighting his role in the auto bailout largely credited with saving the auto industry and his signing-off on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Those two factors may also explain another interesting shift. After the Democratic convention, Obama picked up more support among men, while he maintained his already high support among women. Not surprisingly, the Democratic convention also helped drive up Obama's numbers among young and urban voters, two major factions of the Democratic base.

Responding to recent poll numbers, Romney's pollster Neil Newhouse warned against getting "too worked up about the latest polling."

"While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race," Newhouse said in a memo released by the campaign.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also responded to recent polls Monday.

"We have always believed that this will be a very close race and that continues to be the president's belief as well as the belief of those around him," Carney said in the White House daily press briefing.

For the CNN poll, ORC International interviewed 1,022 adult Americans by telephone from September 7-9. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The sample also includes 875 interviews among registered voters (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points) and 709 interviews among likely voters.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Partyman JG

    Ok. Thanks CNN – but does this change in any of the electoral college/states/races? You know what I mean?

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Ashley

    Ummm..it's a CNN Poll.

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Joan in MS

    When asked about not mentioning our troops in Afganistan in his acceptance speech, Romney said that he only used a laundry list of important things to talk about in his speech. What a disgrace! Get this man off the national stage! He is unfit to be President and certainly unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. D

    God help us if Mittens wins!

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Slacker

    Sweet! My Obama money will keep rolling in! And I'm hoping I can get an Obama iPhone soon! Thanks hard working tax payers!!

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Patrick

    CNN polls ... lol. They poll 67% Democrats and 33% 'others'. Do the math and it reveals just how bad Obama is doing among his own party.

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. John

    President Obama got my vote !

    September 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. BackURPres

    I've heard enough of Romney.  I don't think he has much class.  He made a comment about "not watching the Democratic Convention because he doesn't want to listen to the president's promises he can't keep".  Barack Obama is still Romney's president...he is our president.  In the old days when someone won the presidency, people from all sides would rally behind him.  Now all people do behind them is back-stab them.  It's a sad, sad country we live in right now and politics is in shambles and embarrassing.  I think Romney is acting like a spoiled brat.  He can't win on his integrity so he has to show how "non-supportive" he can be of our country's president to win points with the GOP? That's just wrong!.  Romney also has the advantage of saying things he knows NOTHING about...like what he'll DO in the White House.  Well, plans change when you get in the White House and YOU CAN"T ALWAYS DO THE THINGS YOU PROMISED YOU'D DO BECAUSE YOU KNOW BETTER NOW.  That's how politics works folks!

    September 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. ED FL

    What would be amazing at that considering the competence and quality of your candidate, this is one boring, pitiful candidate who is wasting his time and money . NOT a CHANCE to get Elected.

    September 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. M7M

    6 points but that is STILL not everyone! The other side of the coin is about people looking at social and economical issues, real problems! Not who seems cooler to vote for, 18-30 year olds must be retarded to vote for Obama, unemployment is literally at 16% in that bracket!

    September 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Scott

    Bye Bye, Mitts Robmey.....

    September 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Go USA

    You folks are nuts! He is going to lose by a landslide.

    September 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Paul

    I can understand Romney getting no-bounce from the RNC's gloom-and-doom fest.
    I can also understand the President getting a bump from a convention that spoke to us as adults and was not nearly as negative.

    September 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Daveinil

    Convention bounce will disappear quickly and Friday's unemployment data will help sink it.

    September 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. dsangiovanni

    Get ready for 4 more with OBAMA , get use to it !! , and by the way get ready your Obama care insurance..!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. nolongerademocrat

    a vote for Obama will destroy America as we know it.

    September 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Zoey

    Can't wait for the debates.....LOL!

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Jharris

    This is temporary. I am surprised that Obama got a bounce in the polls. I thought Romney would get a bounce way ahead of Obama. If I were Democratic strategists I would be kind of glad, but not gloat at all. CNN is more progressive in its polling, but Rasmussen polls shows Obama with a bounce as well. These won't last. This country is still so polarized terribly. It is really a 50/50 election and the country won't find out who is president until the next day. I looked at internal CNN polls and Obama is polling at 42% of white voters and at 88% of minorities. If I were the GOP, I would be concerned about the 88% because that is Barry Goldwater 1964 territory. If I were the Democrats I would be worried if that 42% drops to 39% which is near Walter Mondale 1984 territory.

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Faith-Isn't-a-Preacher

    Where was the bump?
    How many people here were asked?

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. lessbackward

    The poll is garbage. It oversamples democrats (441 vs 397).

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. cliff

    Folks, surely you realize CommieNewsNetwork is in bed with Obama. Two losers hanging together!

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. sean lannon

    afraid to post my innocuous comment?

    September 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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