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. dd

    Now we have Obama supporters screwing the children of Chicago. What will the people do? Let the worst public school system in the country get worse by caving in to the Teachers Union? or decertify the union and run the Obama supporters out of town, tar and feathered on a rail?

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. V

    Bye-Bye Mittens!

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. UrAverageJoe

    57 days to go – Romney needs to shake things up – especially in the battleground states and put a few more states in play (New Mexico, Wisconsin, Oregon) if he is going to have a shot at this. If Obama continues to raise money like he did in August, bad economic news in October AND a good debate performance could be Romney's only hope.

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

    I don't believe this at all.
    ROMNEY?RYAN 2012

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Larry IN Houston

    those polls don't mean a whole lot right now – when reagan ran against carter, the polls showed it was practically neck & neck (within the margin of error) Reagan defeated Carter by a landslide.

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Bob

    Thats terrible news for the tuture of America. Of course I'm sure the typical Obama koolaid drinker will be " who Yoo....Obama baby.....gimme me some money..Republicans are too white and racist and no good...

    September 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Maxwell

    Obama/Biden 2012! Romney likes the so call "Obamacare" Now! This guy cannot be serious!

    September 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. dave

    An Obama win in 2012 guarantees a GOP victory in 2016, especially when you compare the up-and-coming candidates on each side.

    September 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Do we wonder why? We know what the President has been doing since 2009 and how many bumps on the road to a better US the teapyublikkklans have put in not just his path for OUR path.
    Now we have the lying boy and akin's bill twin saying that they are going to wait until AFTER the election to tell US what they are going to do. NO, we want and need to hear it NOW.
    The twit is now backtracking on Obamacare and that he will keep some of the incentives. NO, they won't if what we have been hearing ad nauseum for months is the truth (Then again, truth and these duo of liars don't go together).
    We have the non working wife crying crocodile tears over their struggles in a basement apartment (before selling their stock I am sure) and now she is saying that they can't comprehend the struggles of those in need?????
    What is it? You do, you are, you did but now you don't, you are not, and you will ALWAYS BE CLUELESS!!!???????
    The only spin they have left is to make Obamacare sound like welfare for the poor (meaning black poor because there are no white poor) taking away from the seniors (meaning white seniors because there are no black seniors) and voter suppression which they will embrace because that is the only way they can win since bellion of $$$$ doesn't seem to be working for them

    September 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Critical Thinking

    No Worries, when they release President Incomplete's college application, the country will get to see the true person, not the Chicago marketing version.

    September 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Seriously folks:
    Polls are nice....but meanignless.
    Don't get lulled into a false sense of security, they mean to steal this election via voter suppression.
    WE MUST VALIDATE OUR 2008 VOTE BY SHOWING UP IN GREAT NUMBERS TO VOTE IN 2012 .
    Don't let them sucker punch you because you fell asleep at the wheel.
    Vote Obama 2012, because America deserves the best.

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. southexas

    He has begun to make his move now from the American masses (99%) after that circus at Tampa, FL. Only clowns were invited to this circus ..

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. MIguel Perez

    CNN, can you explain to me the following how Mitt Romney wins en each category, there are more democrats voting for Romney 3 against 2 republicans voting for Obama, and most interesting Romney wins independent by 14% and you still have Romney losing by 6 percent. Please next time do an honest poll, I know you want Obama to win, but please do not call yourself objective or honest

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Lean6

    That's ok, Mitt. Keep defending Eastwood. Keep shouting the empty rhetoric day after day after day after day. Today, the Chicago teachers going on strike was Obama's fault, according to Mitt. Just keep spouting off, Mitt. Americans only know what YOU tell them. They don't have the capacity to distinguish authentic from fraud. (sarc) I can't wait until Romney is fishing with Palin, Herman Cain, Bachman, Gingrich, Trump, Perry, and Santorum. Look on the bright side, they can fish from one of Mitt's yatchs when he joins the party.

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Look for the Koch Bothers' new book coming out in early 2013: "How I Lost Half A Billion Dollars On A Dope Named Romney".

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Republican Class Warfare

    All the republicans care about is themselves. People see that and they don't like it. Also they came off as liars and flip floppers. What did it for me was Clint blaming the war in Afghanistan on Obama...get a grip, GOP.

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. packerfans

    Hey Voters dont support King Obama, He still Lair and Worse!!! He dont support Cap, and Cut and Balance. America will going growing debts to 30 trillions for his second terms. He was treats senior citzens cutting social security last aug 2011. But freeze three year income living and stole money to spends where is money?? He support same Marraige against Fedreal Law?? I dont want America become Babylon??? I want President to be honest follow the Law of America united States and one man and one wife . Watch out Obama brain wash all of you !!! Vote for Mitt Romney and Paul who can save America.. God with them.

    September 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. UrAverageJoe

    @ John – the polls didn't have Carter up by 8 with a week to go, nor did they have Dukakis ahead, much less ahead by 30 points. Get Real! HaHaHa

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Lgrable

    I had been receiving all types of poll call for weeks. My answer has always been the same. Starting this week i get those same numbers on my caller id but when i pickup and say hello you can hear an open line but no ones there. I am at home during the day so I get a lot of these 1 or 2 a day something. I should mention I live in the state that is up for grabs in the middle of the state where many have said is critical for turning the state one direction or the other. Why would anyone put faith in other people inturpiting my opinion, random calling. Really, they know more about you before they even call. 
    Polls are not a good measure of anything except to reflect that 100% of the people 
    That picked up the phone wished they hadn't. Has any one else had this empty line experience?

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. bam

    buh bye mittens....
    Clinton for the win

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Brad

    This poll is total B.S. No way views change this drastically so quickly off of stupid scripted stuff like a convention. Either people are sheep or these people conducting these polls are biased – I bet it is a little of both!

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Billy in NYC

    Again, in Meet the Press yesterday, Mitten still could not give specific on what loopholes he is going to cut from the wealthy 1%. He says he will keep some of the Obamacare benefits. Without specifics, no voters will listen to you, Mitt.

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. gmenfan54

    Even the GOP knows President Obama will be re-elected.

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Mollie

    I seems so strange to me that the Romney campaign thinks they will will on the basis of the economy. Their ideas are redicules. It doesn't take a very complicated mind to figure out that the government (at all levels) requires taxes to run. And definitely isn't rocket science to figure out that EVRERYONE should be paying their fair share. the real problem was never Obama, obviously if congressmen and senators would work together we might get somewhere.....

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Ree

    Let's keep on the message and widen the lead!

    September 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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