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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    You would have thought that the Kochs or Rove would have told Mittens that the birthers for vouchers crowd does not represent the majority of Americans. Even Mittens is flip flopping on his promise to repeal Obamacare on day one. He is an idiot, but he is white, I think!

    September 10, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    tightie rightie reaction to polls reflecting well for Obama...."typical left wing polling" "not accurate" "doesn't matter. only November matters" Tightie rightie reaction to polls reflecting badly for Obama.."say goodbye Soshulist" "back to Chicago union thug" "Amurka will be back when you are gone"

    September 10, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Stephen Bibb

    Go Obama!! Kick Romney's .........

    September 10, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    SPECIFIC PLAN.

    Two words which speak volumes and will ultimately send the president on to victory in November.

    September 10, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Stephen Bibb

    Ten reasons why Mitt RoMney is already history:
    “Corporations are PEOPLE, my friend!”
    “375,000 isn’t a lot of money (to make in one year).”
    "The banks are scared to death. They're feeling the same thing that you're feeling."
    "I’m not concerned with the very poor... that’s not my focus."
    “I’ll bet you $10,000, right here, right now….”
    "Don't take money from the government, just ask your parents."
    “I’m SEVERELY Conservative!”
    “Some of my friends own NASCAR teams.”
    “No, no, no… I like (healthcare) mandates. Mandates work!”
    “I can relate to black people very well indeed. My ancestors once owned slaves.”

    September 10, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Stephen Bibb

    Bishop Romney:
    Vulture Capitalist………Check
    Tax Cheat…………........ Check
    Draft Dodger………….. Check
    Serial Flip-Flopper……. Check
    Dog Abuser…………… Check
    Jobs Killer……………. Check
    13 Cayman Accounts..... Check
    5 Swiss Bank Accounts.. Check
    GOP, you have your candidate!

    September 10, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Stephen Bibb

    Democrats champion the causes of the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled.
    Christ championed the causes of the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled.
    Who does the GOP champion? The wealthy bankers and Wall Streeters.
    Didn't Christ throw the money-changers out of the temple?

    September 10, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Yeah!

    Obama. 2012. Forward.

    September 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Rick

    Why is a poll "breaking news"?

    September 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Aquaman17

    McCain was winning on this day 4 years ago.

    Apparently people did not see the jobs report.

    September 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Cathy

    1022 adults by telephone asked how they will vote and you allow those 1022 adults guide you to what millions of others will do on election day...REALLY? What a bunch of buffoons!

    September 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney and the GOP are so negative and don't recognize it's hurting them, not Obama. If you listen to Romney/Ryan and the GOP when they are questioned on different affairs they always say, it would have should have or probably could have but when asked what they would do, they are totally clueless.

    September 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Mitt Romney

    I aint showin' my taxes, no matter what. P.S. I got firsties.

    September 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Sooverthis

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey Robmey looks like the "sugar-high" is turning into a Sugar Love Fest.
    You want some "sugar" for that acrid Tea of yours?
    Obama 2012. Because Americans are NOT as stupid as Romney thinks.

    September 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. mike58

    HAHAHAHAHA yea that's not a one sided poll HAHAHAHAHA
    Good one

    September 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. DO NOT TRUST POLLS!!! VOTE!!!

    In the end, all that matters is the result.

    September 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Demigod Vadik, CA

    ...doom and gloom never works Repubs...

    ...anyways, wasn't Romney crying on TV last night???...

    ...he said it was because he loves his wife so much, it turns out he saw the Democratic Convention, the polls, and got drunk...

    ...you know when you're a drunk, you love everyone and you cry while saying it...

    September 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Joan in MS

    Can you say ... landslide in the making?!?

    Can't wait for the debates. After the debates, Obama/Biden will be up 10-15 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. steeler1nation

    how could ANYbody vote for this failure Obama...he shouldnt have more than 25 % of the vote.
    further proof Americans have a lot of DUMMYS!

    September 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Matt

    Don't people realize that polls of registered voters are useless? How about a poll of likely voters. This is just another case of the liberal media trying to skew the public in favor of Obama

    September 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. M Garr

    I will vote for President Obama.

    It has been a rough four years, trying to recover from the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.

    Beginning Jan 20, 2009, Republicans in Congress did everything possible to prevent the economic recovery.
    It was a calculated, cynical, and treacherous strategy that put our country further at risk.

    I will not forget or forgive that.

    Enough of this gridlock.
    I will also vote Democratic in the House and Senate races.

    I want action. And campaign finance reform.
    And legislation to overrule Citizen's United.

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

    Tick tock, tick tock...

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

    Once the real issues are debated, the gap will widen even more.

    September 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Breed11

    I wouldn't give the credit for the boost to Obama. He has been a mediocre president. However, fortunately for him, Romney is a horrible candidate.

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