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. uhhhh

    Wow. Most of the voters are NOT stupid after all.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. government cheese

    In September, Carter led Reagan by 6 points. Reagan won by 10 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Matt

    Your article needs to be corrected. McCain experienced a significant boost in polls after the 2008 RNC. In fact, he lead Obama head-to-head for the next week or so after the convention – not "no ground at all". in fact, a USA Gallup poll had McCain up by 10 points in the middle of September, when in the previous one, Obama was up 7. Please correct your article.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. bibleverse1

    Contact your congress rep and ask what they have done in office to help economy.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. riptin

    Does anyone really take these two clowns serious anymore. Now Robme is all for Obama care cause the polls are showing that the lies they have been telling now for two years have fallen on death ears and that the majority want Obama care. Flip flop flip flop flip flop. I don`t think they will even bother running anyone against Hilary, in other words the next twelve years are in the bank. Robme is scared to death that his taxes are going to get leaked, he knows if that happens, its all over and he will have to drop out while he is being investigate for fraud.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Sterup

    Obama gets a 4 point bump and Romney gets 1. I guess the American people are paying attention to who will be better for them.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You can tell your sweet old mama, I'm voting for Barack Obama!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Can I use that Tom?!
    I can combine it with my other new favorite: "KMA Mittens"!
    LOL!

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Cathy

    How does Obama talk about issues...one word...FORWARD! Since he has done nothing, as of yet, than I can assume that his FORWARd strictly means 4 more years of absolutely NOTHING...again!

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I don't understand why Republicans don't believe Obama's leading when Romney/Ryan only talk about Obama like he's their economic plan or something.

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Don't Believe in Obamanations

    And notice that CNN did the poll. They worship the ground he walks on, so of course they'll ensure that the sample includes mostly Democr@ps.

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Bob

    Roooooomney..... its all slipping away right before your eyes..... suck it!!

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Ellen

    Why weren't the other candidates included in this poll? Gary Johnson and Jill Stein?

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. ptw

    It will tighten up again. It seems like the American Electorate has the memory of a goldfish.

    But if the polls really do stay wide then watch for all the outside money to start abandoning Romney and start drowning the downstream races in order to win the Senate and hold the House for the Republicans. All those millions can only make so much difference at the Presidential level, but at the Congressional level it can absolutely churn out many wins.

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Daveinil

    Mark Twain said that there's lies, damn lies and statistics. CNN polls fall at least one step lower than that on the continuum of accurate data.

    September 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. dood

    Obama will wipe the floor up with Romney at the debates!!

    September 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    says who???

    September 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Ron

    It has changed so abruptly that it looks fake.

    September 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Republican tears taste sooooo good!!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Add a little "sugar" and they'll taste DELICIOUS!!

    September 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Sterup

    Obama gets a 4 point bump and Romney gets 1. I guess the American people are paying attention to who will be better for them.

    September 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Jim Brody

    In your faces, pundits!

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. southexas

    He's now going for the kill. Mitt N Ryan better luck next time.

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Political Agnostic

    The polls seem to reflect that voters are not buying the Republican mantra that providing "tax breaks" will fix the economy. Mitt Romney made the statement in one of his speeches that he wanted to take the country back. The question is just how far back?

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Dave

    Carter was up by 7 before the election , then got landslided , conservatives dont participate in polls as much as liberals

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. dood

    It's obvious who our next president will continue to be!

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Alger Dave

    So Obama got the bump and Romney didn't? Obama's enthusiasm gap is still firmly in place. Dems say they'll vote but the GOP will actually get to the polls. Think old determined people vs. carefree people without a car. Romney hasn't gotten the GOP too excited, but they're probably in-hate enough with Obama to pull together and oust him in November. It'll make for good TV and be close.

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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