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. Joe

    The message couldn't be clearer. Romney represents repression on women and minorities. The Republicans will soon die off.

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. ezduzit757

    I love John's "Pure manipulation by the Liberal press" Hahahaha. Any time any news organization doesn't spew right wing crap all the right wingers attribute it to the "Liberal press" It's not the liberal press moron – it is "the press" plain and simple and whatever you listen to is the "right wing press" which is full of misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies.

    September 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. JR

    Obama's 4 point bounce after the DNC...this is "BREAKING NEWS"?

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. dood

    Republicans are fighting a hard battle. They won't win this one.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Fourleaf Tayback

    Whatever lead he has will be gone in 2 weeks...he won't fix the economy, he won't create jobs, he won't stop spending money like crazy, he won't stop trying to divide us against each other, he won't become a great leader and he won't give us HOPE AND CHANGE like he promised.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Andy

    I'm not worried about Obama's performance in the debates. I'm worried about Biden; he does tend to ramble off a bit, while Ryan is a sharp and focused guy.

    Biden's advantage is that he has actually been in the VP position and can bring much more gravitas and experience to the debate, but still could get derailed if Ryan goes on the offensive.

    Cross your fingers...if Biden does an OK job, we're through.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. butch

    Breaking news! A poll of democrats shows that obama's favor with them has gone up 4 points since the DNC.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. vince

    CNN Poll? Really? Enough said.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Chicago

    If Obama is up by 6 points then I am truly frightened. I guess people don't want jobs. Amazing so many would vote for someone who has been a complete failure.

    September 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. John Myers

    Desperate manipulation of numbers. Everyone knows that Obama will lose BIG in November

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Pedro

    The reason the polls are shifting is because Romney and Ryan didn't care about the fact checkers and the truths that propagated from them...
    You see, the problem is that people do care about quite a bit about facts and the facts always prevail.
    What Romney doesn't understand is that I rather have a president tell me things aren't as good as they should be rather than a candidate tell tell me lies.

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Grape Drink

    I find it shocking that there are that many people who would actually consider voting for Romney. They sure have been wildly successful at convincing people to vote against their own self interest.

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. butch

    A poll of dems shows that obama's favor with them has gone up 4 points since the DNC.

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. dood

    Where are Bush and Palin???? Haven't seen them hanging around lately...mmmm.

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. winstonsmith

    I love how they keep trying to make it about the economy... OBAMA DIDN'T CRASH THE ECONOMY!!!!!! You can't play that card! All you can play is that he hasn't been good at repairing what was already wrecked, and in order to do that convincingly, you need to have SPECIFICS and IDEAS. Yet it's the Dems who are getting specific and the Repubs that are talking in broad strokes. Totally backwards.

    Obama didn't ruin the economy. Period. If you don't like how he's handling it, then what's your plan? I'm happy to hear it. If you have a good one, I might even vote for it. But saying, economy = bad means Obama = bad is silly beyond the point of reason.

    September 10, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. unknown11

    Here in Illinois we are lucky to have a state government that is run by democrats. Even luckier, we have Cook county which is run by democrats. Better yet, we have the city of Chicago which is run by democrats. This has allowed democrats to make all decisions on taxing, spending, laws, and policy for many decades. It has allowed us to create the perfect society in Chicago that everyone wants. We have the best educated kids and the lowest unemployment. All races and religions get along together. There are no gangs or violence. We have outlawed guns, so there are no shootings. Everyone gets a fare shake at justice. There is no corruption.

    Vote democrat wherever you are if you want the things that Chicago has.

    September 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Bob

    Republicans are in a state of denial – the party of old, senile, racists. First, they ruin the economy and start two needless wars. Then, the Tea Party zealots take over their party. Now, they can't understand why most of the country loathes them and will give Obama another four years. Obama is good for America, and we need his leadership for another 4 years.

    September 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Someone

    I have a hard time buying this...I am sure we don't have that many stupid people in this country. No question Obama needs to lose his job...we've all lost ours!

    September 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. hammerofastraea

    USA promises us we can be the best that we can be and are meant to be. In this economy I am lessened as a person and have jobs that do not use my talents. Get Obama out of there already.

    September 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. krish

    I am better off to day than 2008. I got a job now.

    September 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. winstonsmith

    "Most of these polls over-sample democrats by several percentage points."

    No they don't. CNN's polls in 2008 had Obama with less of a lead than he actually won with. Polls in 2004 showed Bush with a strong healthy lead in the last month. I'm not sure about 2000.

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. eagleflyfree

    wow, a CNN poll has Obama up by 6pts. surprising!
    this election won't be close....Reagan/Carter 2.0

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. caden

    sir isaac newton's law of gravity: what goes up must come down. poor sheeple, i almost feel sorry for ur grasping of straws. this is a bounce. period.

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. mike

    Makes sense that the GOP convention focused on Obama. People either like Obama or hate him. Nobody likes Romney.

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. WVLady63

    The fat lady has NOT sung yet..........

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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