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. Charles Homme

    This is a bad sign but hopefully it will dinimish once unemployment figures and GDP growth show Obama hasn't moved the needle for either in the right direction. It's truly baffling why anyone would give this guy their support. He said his $800 billion stimulus would have unemployment at 5.5% now with a 4% GDP growth rate or his first term would be his last. He also said he would half the budget deficit. He had his last budget slapped down 97-0 in the democratically controlled Senate. The GM bailout is $25 billion in the red. Solyndra is a complete failure. etc. He's a complete failure and people that think otherwise should take a close look at the economy.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. 5Billy1

    CNN oversampled Democrats by 8 points!! More propaganda from the left...can't wait til November:)

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Boo

    Matt – wah wah wah wah....

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. John

    Everyone knows that Mitt's supporters will show and vote come hell or high water. This includes Ron Paul's supporters. The real question is whether Obama's supporters will. So far, based upon the shear numbers of people showing up to see/hear Mitt/Ryan as opposed to Obama/Biden, I give the nod to Mitt/Ryan. Everyone knows the real reason why the Dems moved Obama's speech indoors last Thursday. The problem Obama has is that while people may generally like him as a person, they're not near as revved up this time. His programs aren't working and he can only buy so many votes by encouraging people to go on food stamps. But, if you listen to the liberal media (which is everyone except Fox) you'd think Obama has already run away with it. But, something tells me this is 1980 redux. If it is, I will laugh and laugh at all of the Bill Mahers, Jon Stewarts and Chris Mathews of the world who will whine, pout and cry.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. steve

    Don't worry. This temporary bump will go away when Obama invades Syria.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. KNKLHEAD

    The only way to help stop rediculous spending by the super rich SuperPacs is to show them that all their $milions were wasted. I can't wait to for Koch Brothres to cry like babies! Too bad they got stuck with Romney!

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. zp

    This is going to be a close election, just like it was when Obama became President – it was no landslide – but this time, it's going to go the other way.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. DCNH

    MTB – regarding "I don't buy it. What is the breakdown of Dems, Republicans, and Independents within the sample? Most of these polls over-sample democrats by several percentage points" – click on the link and look at the poll itself: 765 landline calls, 257 cell phone calls. Multiple studies show landline users are more conservative than cell phone users in the aggregate (google it if you don't buy that either), so in fact this poll is arguably skewed heavily toward Republicans.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. YouSunkMyBattleshiop

    I love all the polling experts on here. Of course they're sooooooo smart, and the the professionals with the real expertise are sooooooooooo stupid.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. GOp Hate you

    Romneys new campain slogan - SHUT UP AND TRUST ME

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. rrd

    August 10, 1988|By Mitchell Locin, Chicago Tribune.
    A Gallup poll two weeks ago, just after the convention, gave Dukakis a 17-point lead, and he maintained that lead in a CBS News-New York Times poll done July 31-Aug.3.

    The Gateway Pundit
    by: Jim Hoft
    Back in 1980 Gallup had Jimmy Carter up over Ronald Reagan by 4 points in mid to late September… And, Carter was up 8 points in October. In fact there was a published Gallup poll showing Carter up six among likely voters in a poll conducted Oct. 24 to 27.

    Ronald Reagan ended up winning by 9 points and taking 44 states.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Mk54

    Romney plans to double down on trickle down, voucherize Medicare, backtrack on healthcare and human rights and dramatically increase military spending. Romney is clumsy, naive and offensive in foreign policy, even to our staunchest allies. Wake up America....the only people that SHOULD favor Romney are those who finance him, the very wealthy.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Divided Sheep

    The political fights are getting quite ridiculous. Either let's get this civil war on with, or it's time for the 50 states to become 50 countries.

    It's one thing to debate politics, but when you start claiming the President has any real power you lose all credibility. Neither Romney or Obama will work for the middle class out there. Most of you have been blinded by the illusion of democracy. If you haven't noticed, the bankers and corporations run this country. Expect ZERO CHANGE until something is done about this.

    September 10, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. sbilly

    Romney Ryan did a great dis service to their campaign. By avoiding the "close the tax loopholes" questions this Sunday.
    They cite studies that say it will work (did not mention the studies) and gave not one example of what they would close. Probably because if they said anything it would be construed as a tax increase, which it would and also violate the Grover Norquist pledge. Just smoke and mirrors......

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Paul

    @republicans: LOL!

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. billman1

    CNN oversampled Democrats by 8 points!! More propaganda from the left...can't wait til November:)

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. OE

    Well it may look like OB has a 6 point lead but many like me are telling the polls we will vote for OB but never intend too....Ha

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Missy

    But of course! Obama/Biden 2012!

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Jokesterer

    CNN says "YAY!"

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Jon

    I know Mitt is way stiff...but I wouldn't be so sure about Obama's upcoming performance in debates. He's got to explain 43 months of 8% unemployment. How does one do that? Pointing the finger isn't going to cut it!

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Dale

    He is up +6 points up right now, with all of these pi**ed off parents because of the teacher strike, he'll be -6 points down in the next few days.

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Cathy

    You Obama lovers out there...if you really are better off...than you are blessed...lol. However there are still 23 million people unemployed and thousands have given up looking for work, so are they better off? Are the millions of children going hungry better off..that number has risen and how about the stimulus money given to Wall Street that went into the pockets of their officers rewarding them for doing such a "Wonderful" job...how do you define better off? It is obviously all about you and only your pocketbooks!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. m

    Romney dug his own grave when he picked freshman Ryan – these "batman/robin" are going to get blasted when the debates start..

    September 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. open400

    I have been watching campaing since 1964. I would have to say the GOP ran the most ridiculous campaign – too many debates with all the candiates going after each other throats, absurd said that alientated whole groups(e.g. the electric fences with machine guns on our Southern border, LImbaugh's commnets about Sandra Fluke, madatory ultasound for wmen seeking abortion, Tea party gun nuts, anti-scientific Evangelical fanatics, etc.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. WisdomVS

    P.T. Barnum was correct...."there's one born every minute."

    Obama's economy plan isn't working... stay the course. The price of health care is still climbing... stay the course. The unemployment rate is at an all time high... stay the course.

    FYI: P.T. Barnum was talking about idiots.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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