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. STRZ

    CNN reports a 6 point bump. The rest of the world is reporting a 2 – 4 point bump. WTH? My only argument is this, If you had an employee that was hired 4 years ago and the business got worse day over day, would you keep this person in the same position or start the hiring process to replace him or her? Oh, forgot, Im posting on a liberal media site. OF COUSE YOU WOULD!!. Like the President, you have no clue how to do business properly.

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Keep us all on our heels...

    Wow, what a shock... close race... all media outlets will make sure it stays that way. Close race sells... Keep ratings high by keeping all polls close. Heck, even these polling companies need this to be close, or the media will stop contracting for new polls.

    September 10, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. jag

    Obama/Biden 2012! However, seriously, I cannot wait until this whole thing is over. "

    I'm jag and I support this message."

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    The congress’s 7% approval rating by the public means that it is the klansmen-dominated house and the filibustering klansmen in the senate that is the problem in congress, not Obama. Acording to one of the polls, Obama’s public approval rating is 45%.

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Drew

    Biased much? Lol. He's not God.

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. John A Rovenolt

    It is a shame the Cultist Candidate Willard Mitt Romney with Mormom mythology and mysticism cannot convey anything but hatred and trash against the President. President Obama, VP Biden, Michelle, and Dr. Jill keep spreading positive messages because that is what the Democrats have to share with the USA. Remember folks, it is not popular vote that matters in the general election, it is the Electoral College. We clearly have 237 votes with Pennsylvania slanting our way. Now, we need Florida and urge Charlie Crist to get out and help the President swing Florida in our advantage!

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. 4more

    Funny how Republicans are trying to refute the results of the CNN poll when they are extremely consistent with their own GOP based Rasmussen polls, showing Obama up 5. Keep wishing

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. IndeePendant

    Let's see;)

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. 3511danny

    Well, if people are stupid enough to believe that the republicans are at war with women, etc., then this is what happens.

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. www.twitter.com/hlmelsaid

    Win some points in the presidential race.

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. LIP

    Well, when people get their heads out of that place where the sun doesn't shine, they will come to their senses and vote Romney. Remember, you don't have to like the guy, just vote for him so we can save this bloody country before it gets totally flushed down the toilet.

    September 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Sashatree

    People are beginning to pay more attention to what the candidates stand for - and realizing that President Obama and his policies are WORKING, and more important, ARE IN THE NATION'S BEST INTEREST. They are seeing how secretive and arrogant Romney/Ryan are, and how they lie and contradict themselves at every turn! The video reels are devastating!! People realize that the GOP is really a fundamentalist christian organization – seeking a theocratic agenda – and they reject that concept as UN-AMERICAN. Romney refuses to answer questions or release his tax returns because he realizes his miserly, tax cheating loopholes and offshore banking schemes look BAD for him! OBAMA HAS DONE AN AMAZING JOB IN TURNING THIS COUNTRY AROUND – IN SPITE OF THE REPUBLICANS AVOWED PROMISE TO WORK ON A SINGLE GOAL – MAKING HIM A ONE TERM PRESIDENT. THEY'VE OBSTRUCTED EVERY ATTEMPT TO HELP THIS COUNTRY RECOVER EVEN MORE QUICKLY THAN IT HAS BEEN! THE GOP IS NOT ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE – OR THEIR INTERESTS. THE GOP ARE PLAYING POLITICS AT THE EXPENSE OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA – AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GO WITH OBAMA BY A LAND SLIDE BECAUSE HE CARES ABOUT PEOPLE MORE THAN CORPORATIONS AND THE FILTHY RICH 1% THAT MITTENS/RYAN ARE KNEELING IN FRONT OF!

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Skata

    Obama has done a great job, all things considered! I like him a lot.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Obama's economy plan isn't working... stay the course."

    The GOP/Teatrolls have largely blocked everythign Obama and the Dems tried to do...keep pretending they haven't.

    "The price of health care is still climbing... stay the course."

    The vast majority of the provisions in the ACA designed to control the growth of health care costs do not take effect until 2014 and the GOP/Teatrolls are fixing to delay even that in their angry temper tantrum over the ACA being enacted, because they will force the federal gov't to sue them and get court orders to implement the law to set up the insurance exchanges, etc.

    "The unemployment rate is at an all time high... stay the course."

    First, no it's not. Second, see the first comment. Moreover, the numbers don't lie and show definitively that the GOP/Teatrolls' actions in manufacturing government shutdown crises and the debt ceiling debacle have had a measurable slowing effect on the recovery...on purpose, don't you doubt....they desperately wanted to be able to blame Obama for not fixing their mess fast enough.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Al

    The best bounce will be when OBLOWZO is bounced back to Chicago or Kenya in November !!!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Partyman JG

    As David Letterman used to say – "Why Can't Obama be President of the Blue States and Romney be the President of the Red States"

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Zoey

    Ohhh, I bet ya Obama is up by a lot more than 6 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Fair

    Wow CNN...you need to put up a big alert on this? Campaigning for Obama? I seriously doubt he is up by 6 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. The REAL Truth...

    @WisdomVS – 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.
    ----------------------------------
    Not sure what an "economy plan" is ? Is that like flying coach?
    Healthcare costs are still rising, but that should SLOW when ACA kicks in – 2014.
    Actually – if you did a little FACT checking instead of parroting foreign-owned Faux Noise Entertainment – you would learn that despite the slight gain in jobs, the rate actually DROPPED last month to 8.1%.
    Of course one can always find bad in any news, but that's the way of the GOP campaign.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. maltytasker

    Mitt Romney, when asked during a FOX interview if he regrets leaving Afghanistan out of his RNC speech: "when you give a speech, you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important."

    The war in Afghanistan and our troops who are dying there for our country are not important?!!

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    Dem or repub, if you don't show me your taxes you won't get my vote. It should be law. If you don't show them, you're hiding something – it's the only reasonable explanation. Again, regardless of party, I can't vote for you if you don't show them. Period.

    September 10, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. sean lannon

    boy! the commies in CNN politburo are really lickin' their chops today, but by 11/7 they'll be draggin' their tails 'tween their legs in despair over their commie leader's butt whippin'..

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

    I live in a Repulican town in Indiana the people I have spoken to hate Romney and will vote for Obama.

    September 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. 3511danny

    Well, many people believe the nonsense that the republicans are at war with women, etc.

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

    "This thing is going to see-saw back and forth until election day."

    You just belched the same wishful thinking heard in every MSM ad department this afternoon.

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