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. bearced

    @ M Garr AMEN!

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Nietodarwin

    The President will beat the tax hiding weirdo cult member. We must get the religious sicko Talibangelicals OUT of the House, then we can have a real recovery, instead of the modest one we've had, because the GOP thinks talking about President Obama's JOBS BILL means screaming "Abortion Abortion, " over and over and over again.

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. DJK

    Where's the party breakdown CNN? Afraid to show that you oversampled Dems +8 again?

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Brett

    If the American people are stupid enough to re-elect this boob we deserve to go down the drain.

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Khaleeshi

    Willard's running scared – now he's even for Obamacare! Just proves that Mitt the Twit and Lyin Ryan will say anything they think people want to hear. Too late though Willard. Is that the sound of republican heads exploding?

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

    CCN/ORC interview a little over 1000 people for this poll. Wonder which town in rural Kentucky they got the sampling from...

    September 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. billman1

    Romney will win in a landslide!

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

    This is election is not close. There is only one group praying for the election to be close and thats the media. Mitt Romney has a %19 percent chance of winning. Not only that, if you really want to see a poll where they put there money where their mouth is. Check out Intrade, Obama has a 20 point lead on Romney. If you hate Obama, put your money where your mouth is, bet your house or car. I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOSE IT!

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

    And on a different note Rahm Emanuel has a strike on his hands because the city of chicago cannot afford to give teachers a 4% pay raise, so go ahead vote for Obama and more cities will face bad economies.

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

    Here CNN ask your dictator czar to moderate this........You guys are a bunch of liberal lowlifes!!! Does that qualify for moderation (censorship)????????

    September 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. 111% er

    It would be different if it was coming from a non partisan channel, but we all know that the polls to this channel are completely partisan to the demicrats..other polls that are non partisan show a different outcome..But its not over till its over McCain got a 6% jump at this time last election but lost it...these polls are so incorrect its not funny ask Clinton....Pull your big boy pants up and wait for the ride...Obama will go down!!

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

    "The poll had 4.89% more Dems than Repubs, what gives?"

    More people in the general population self-identify as Democrats, so a random sample of the public will turn up more people who self-identify as Democrats....AS IT SHOULD. The poll is not made "accurate" by assuming a 50-50 split in Dems and Republicans...that woudl, in fact, skew the results in favor of Republicans because the population at large self-identifies at a slightly higher rate as Dems. The 5% difference in this poll's random sample is probably just about right.

    September 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Klaas Jan

    Utterly predictable to anyone who isn't a foxnews sheeple.

    September 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. larry5

    It was Bill Clinton that put Obama up in the polls. The problem? Obama is no Bill Clinton. The old expression that fits Obama is that Obama is the Captain of his own ship. If Obama gets re-elected he'll take us all for a ride into fantasy land.

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

    Proving once again that the stupid vote will listen to anyone, including hucksters on the shopping network. Let`s see how many even remember who is running for president in two months.

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

    You are all setting yourselves up for a let down think the election is over based on a phone poll of 0.000000000000000001 of the people going out to vote.

    September 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. moderateben

    Sweet! I'm glad the majority of Americans have realized we are far better off with Obama in office. Romney has the hair but other than that, can't think of much else he has. Obama 2012!

    September 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Mensaman

    Back in 1980 Jimmy Carter had a 5-6 point bounce after his Convention. Reagan trounced him in the election. Look it up if you don't believe me. It was the economy then too. The difference was during Carter you had 13% interest rates and 20% mortages and long gas lines. The media helped Carter then, but not as much as it is openly campaigning for Obama.
    Todays crisis is different, but gas has more than doubled making it far worse and homes are worse – with foreclosures.
    Carter looked feckless and lowered his goals. Obama is in the same mode right now. Interesting parallels

    September 10, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Charlie

    Not another four years of Treyvon's adopted and absent step-dad.

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Amused

    Reply to John

    "The poll had 4.89% more Dems than Repubs, what gives?"

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

    Why, it's the usual slanting of the evidence by the Pro O MSM. It is a trick they have been playing for months. The only poll that counts is on election day. Now, why doesn't CNN do an investigation to see who is behind the slow implementation by the Pentagon of the program making it easier for those in the military to vote absentee? It couldn't be that the administration is trying to keep those they fear are pro-Republican from voting? Naaaah, couldn't be....

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Joan in MS

    The whole country is MUCH better off now than we were four years ago.

    Romney now supports Obamacare.

    Lyin' Ryan (GOP's new marathon man) has been totally discredited as a liar and fabricator of misleading statements.

    This race is just about over! Let's vote now and get it all over with. No one wants to hear another 100's of millions of $$'s in negative ads from the R&R camp. They're already getting desparate. Could get ugly with more Koch brothers' money ... ... ...

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Farrok

    President Obama has mine and my families Vote as we will not vote for the Republican who wants to throw old people, the sick and the disabled into the street so they can finance more Wars! They also want to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits. The Republicans are no good for the rank and file American Citizen and everything they do is for the filthy rich…………………. Do not Vote for them as you will lose your shirt, your job, and your home (The Republicans want to do away with the home mortgage deduction for example.).

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Zoey

    Republicans can keep repeating and repeating and repeating their erroneous information about Obama and his presidency and the uneducated keep believing it. They actually believe it. Everyone knows if a republican were in office we would be much worse off than we are now and that's the truth.
    Get over it republicans. Obama will win 2012 and you will have to endure another four years with a black president.

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. OhMyinMN

    Obama is vulnerable on the economy, but Americans undestand that it takes time to fix. Republicans must think Americans are stupid or something. The people know who caused this mess. Why would they want to go back to the same policies that created it in the first place? No, they'll give Obama another four years to see what he can do. Maybe Romney would have a chance if he could come up with some specific proposals instead of just complaining about Obama. That's not leadership, and it won't get their votes.

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Kris

    I came here just to read comments about how the poll must obviously be a fraud or mistaken or some other crap.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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