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. JJB

    I think its more like 54% that Obama is ahead.

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. TJ

    Wag the dog baby.....

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. BYBY OBAMA

    I am not on welfare, I work hard without my hand out, I take a shower every day, Iam not a leach, I am republican.

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

    When Romney was promoting his non-existent policies on Meet the Press, he was asked twice about the loopholes that he will close tax loopholes. His reponse? He bobbed and weaved and didn't answer. Romney expects the deficent to magically disappear if he was POTUS. This guy will slam so far left after you wingnuts elect him that it will be apparent Obama is the much more conservative choice!

    September 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Goodgriefness

    These polls don't mean much of anything I hate to admit to it...but I lie to the pollsters....who are you going to vote for? Mitt Romney o'course (I do have my fingers crossed while I am lying) Who did you vote for last year...Mcain or Obama? McCain o'course. Do you believe the Republicans are losers, liars, racists, shriveled up pieces of crap that believe women should be beaten and used for baby breeders? I sure do...I didn't lie about that one ya'll...I told the truth on that last one..didn't need to cross my fingers either!!!!

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Scott in Michigan

    WAKE UP PEOPLE! Look at the poll – registered Democrats were outpolled over registered Republicans by 441-397. This means 44 more Dems were polled. That is +10%! How can CNN keep getting away with this garbage! CNN continues to manipulate the American people!

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Norma Vessels

    I will be voting rock solid for President Obama!

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. ForGoodOfAll

    Obama will win by a landslide. Romney's got nothing. Ryan is a radical right winged zealot. Poor choice of VP candidate, sorry Mitt!

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Ellis

    All this shows is that CNN is as corrupt as the Nazi Gestapo with their own propaganda.

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Too Much

    I would just like to know what kind of idiot makes his or her decision based on a convention....republican or democratic. That is just mind boggling.

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Steve

    All I cn sy is, if we get Obama again, we will be in the same place 4 years from now. Blaming others for the problems and playing golf!

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. m

    Romney dug his own grave when he picked nutjob Ryan – these numskulls are going to get blasted when the debates start..

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Nate

    Why was it an international poll? Shouldn't it just be national?

    September 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Mary

    As long as Romney – Ryan keep talking about war as a BOLD MOVE/(Romney) – President Obama will continue to lead. No one wants to send their family members to war while you keep yours safe in the country.

    Also noticed, the donors are now realizing they are loosing their money and are beginning to donate less while Mitt has his millions in the Cayman Island (untouched) & betting on other peoples money which is his business philosophy. Without has tax returns, no one knows especially how much money he is hiding while the poor are giving him their little earning for a loosing campaign.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Guest

    This poll does not indicate the latest job report that was released on friday. The polls will be reversed in a week.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Rhetoric over results...

    That's what we'll have for four more years.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. sayer

    No wonder Mitt is turning on the GOP and not getting rid of Obamacare...

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Mark

    One gets the feeling of being conned when Republicans Romney and Ryan are selling their views. I get the feeling I'm listening to a used car salesman who is trying to make a profit for himself and could care less whether I get a good car for the money or not. I don't get that feeling when I listen to Obama.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. unknown11

    Just curious as to why all my comments need to wait moderation? I don't lie. I don't call people names. I don't use profanity. What seems to be the problem?

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. JMO

    Romney is in big trouble. The Dems are coming off of a great convention, and the next milestone is the debates. Romney as to prepare hard for those, which will keep his offense off of the field. If Obama wins re-election, it will go down as the biggest fiasco since George McGovern.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Joe

    To the people who come here to do nothing but post hateful comments about the party that isn't yours: you ARE the reason there is so much hateful attack campaigns. You ARE the reason we have crooked politicians running the country from both sides of the aisle.

    Neither side is always right and neither side is always wrong despite what your parent(s) told you when you were four years old. Your hatefulness and lack of common sense and ability to think for yourself is the exact reason we have corrupt politicians running government instead of actual citizens who care about the country.

    Your insults serve absolutely no purpose than a quick, meaningless stroke of your own ego.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Bill

    The endgame is at hand. Soon, Ryan can go back to his obstructionist behavior and Mittens can start plotting his next run in 2016. And @MTB, you should buy it, because Obama leads Romney among independents by an even larger margin.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Fourleaf Tayback

    Congratulations to BILL CLINTON for creating a 2 week bounce for OBAMA...too bad CLINTON isn't running..Democrats just might have a chance but not with OBAMA's Failed Record.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Floyd - Spring

    I'm sure that CNN (because it backs Obama) made sure it polled mostly Democrats........We're not that stupid to figure it out... You can better CNN...............

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Milton K. Wiah

    He will repeal and kill Obamacare the first day in office, now he will keep portion of the same law.
    So what repeal and kill mean to this man who wants to be president.

    September 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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