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. Sueb

    When a campaign says not to be worried about upcoming numbers; they are very worried about the numbers.

    September 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Jeb

    Romney will simply say, do, or pretend to be anything to get elected.

    That might make him a good politician, but it also makes him a terrible leader.

    If Romney lacks the backbone to stand up for what he really believes in, how is he going to stand up to our enemies?

    September 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. nolongerarepublican

    Obama will win by 60% of the votes.
    Live with it.

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

    6 points.
    Shows how this country is so uneducated. Romney should be trailing by at least 25 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. proudcanadian

    I wonder what the republican CNN John King supporter has to say about this on his map? Not forgotting David Gregen who was a consultant for Bain Capital.No matter what Republicans want the world to believe, Obama is still popular worldwide and one of the best US Presidents ever! He polls amazingly high in Canada more than all our politicians.

    September 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. John

    We are going to beat Romney like a drum in November.!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Boo

    Anyone with any intelligence and forethought should know better than to vote for Robme/Ryan.

    September 10, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Mike, Albany

    This is as it should be. Even if you are not a strong Obama supporter, there is simply nothing to recommend Romney over Obama. Romney is an unmitigated flip-flopper with no clear stance on anything. He has no people skills, and his VP choice is inexplicable. Beyond this, the RNC went out with a thud while the DNC ended with a bang.

    September 10, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Mike H.

    Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz,
    Time to shift the negativity attacks into higher gear...
    Eastwood... time for a follow-up conversation with an empty chair.

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    1 point bump compared to a 6 point bump. You do the math!

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Don't you wish you had some "sugar" to go with your Tea Robmey?!
    Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Mark in Seattle

    Should be more, and will be. Obama is the only option for our good future.

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. The Film Professor

    A lot of hot air was blowing in and out of Tampa, and the public is not oblivious. What is obvious is that one party has a phony for their candidate for President, and a junior whippersnapper know-it-all for VP talking out of both sides of his mouth. This gap can only widen between now and November, and Obama should be overwhelmingly re-elected.

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. John

    Pure manipulation by the Liberal press. But that was the say result with Carter and Regan. All these liberal polls showed Carter was ahead even up to about a week before the elections when this same polls that are publilshing now put Carter at 8 points ahead but we all know what happened. After the elections Regan won the electoral college by more than 450 points to Jimmy Carter's meagre 45+ pionts. Ha ha ha. It is also the same thing with Bush and Dukakis - these liberal backing polls all put Dukakis way way ahead even by as much as 30 points only weeks before the elections and what was the result, Bush won, HA HA HA. Just shows you that these liberals will do anything to win but they cannot fool he American people. No matter how they prop Obama, he will be booted out by the majority especially by those who have given up hope of ever landing a job!

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Tom

    You can tell your sweet old mama, I'm voting for Barack Obama!

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Fourleaf Tayback

    Strange that Obama would get a bounce after the Democrats openly booed GOD and the JEWS. My guess is that debacle at their convention will come back to haunt them. America is far from GODLESS...like the liberals showed a good number of them are.

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Abe

    The main difference between the GOP and the Dems convention is that the Republicans had nothing good to say except the usual hate mongering!

    September 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Ben

    And, I should trust CNN. This media has been doing us an INJUSTICE for too long.

    September 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Facts don't LIE

    don't worry Republicans it's just a "sugar bounce" as the Romney team will tell you. Kind of like the one Paul Ryan got in Wisconsin when he was added to the ticket. Wait until after the first debate and watch the bounce go HIGHER!!

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

    Excellent bounce for President Obama!

    September 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. hal

    I know if Romney was up 6 points...it would read.....Romney up by only 6 points!!

    September 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. joe

    The bottom line is this economy is a mess. If he gets elected back in then this country is just made up of idiots. The DNC platform was a joke. They cater to 10% of the population well what about the rest of the country that does not want to hear about the fake war on women, all the gay bs, the people that believe in God ect. Lets focus on the majority of people in this nation not the pandering few that complain about everything.

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Imblackyouknowyouwantedtoknow

    Truths in my eyes are that, Romney will probably do a decent job for the republic (invade where needed, boost corporation success, and take care of the wealthy) but normal/poor people will suffer. Obama will continue to as a strong commander and chief while maintaining good foreign relations, but he will do his best to help individuals of all kinds in all states. Just my view as an American, not an African-American.

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. josh

    The fact that Obama can be doing as well as he despite an economy with alot of challenges and the constant drum of the right wing media is hopefully due to the fact that the majority of the voters realize just how dangerous the social agenda the right wing would bring with them. Hopefully they also understand that he brought us back from the brink of a total meltdown but unfortunately we have short memories and not a very deep knowledge of how bad things were.

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Plantiful

    Why hell. That is a landslide with today's polling efficiency. Romney is going to have to change his opinions (again) to catch up.

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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