Washington (CNN) - If a rematch of the 2012 presidential election were held today, GOP nominee Mitt Romney would top President Barack Obama in the popular vote, according to a new national survey.
But a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that if Romney changes his mind and runs again for the White House, Hillary Clinton would best him by double digits in a hypothetical showdown.
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The survey, released Sunday morning, also suggests that more Americans see Clinton as a strong and capable leader than those who feel the same way about Obama. But Clinton's numbers on five personal characteristics have slightly edged down the past few months.
And the poll points to a jump the past month in support among Republicans for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
How Romney fares
According to the poll, if the 2012 election were somehow held again, Romney would capture 53% of the popular vote, with the President at 44%. Obama beat Romney 51%-47% in the popular vote in the 2012 contest. And he won the all-important Electoral College by a wider margin, 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206.
Last November, an ABC News/Washington Post survey indicated that if the 2012 election were held again, Romney would have had a 49%-45% edge over Obama in the popular vote.
Romney has said numerous times that he won't run for the White House again. But what if things changed and he ended up as the GOP nominee in 2016? The CNN poll indicates that 55% of Americans would support Clinton, with Romney at 42%.
"Politically speaking, there is an interesting group of people who would not vote for Obama but would pick Clinton over Romney," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It turns out that nearly seven in ten of them are women, and 56% are Independents."
The CNN poll – just like almost every national and state survey preceding it – indicates that the former secretary of state remains the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Clinton is seriously considering a second White House run.
Two-thirds of Democrats and independents who lean toward the party say they would most likely support Clinton for the presidential nomination. One in ten say they'd back freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a super star among liberals. And eight percent support Vice President Joe Biden. That's a slight swap from last year, when Biden stood at 12% and Warren at 7% in CNN polling.
Like Clinton, Biden is mulling another presidential bid, while Warren has said numerous times that she's not running in 2016.
Did book tour hurt Clinton?
The poll was conducted more than a month into Clinton's book tour for her new memoir "Hard Choices."
Did Clinton's well publicized book tour – including her controversial remarks that she and her husband Bill Clinton were "dead broke" when they left the White House in 2001 – hurt her standing with the public?
The number who say that Clinton shares their values dropped from 56% in March to 51% now, and the number who say she cares about people edged down from 56% to 53% in the same time period.
"But it's tough to tell whether Clinton's remarks were the reason for any change that might have happened. The number who believe that Clinton agrees with them on issue and can manage the government effectively also dropped, and those are not qualities that you would expect to be affected by any concerns over Clinton's wealth," said Holland. "The more likely explanation is that the book tour hurt Clinton - if it did so - not because of any specific comments that she made but because more Americans now view her as an active candidate for the White House."
GOP field all knotted up, but big jumps for Christie and Perry
The poll also indicates the race for the 2016 GOP nomination remains a wide open contest with no obvious frontrunner among the potential Republican White House hopefuls.
Thirteen percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they'd likely back Christie, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate, each at 12%. Perry – who ran for the White House last time around – and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee – are both at 11%.
Christie and Perry have each jumped five percentage points from CNN's last Republican nomination poll, which was conducted in June.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are both at 8%, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 6%, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin at 5% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who battled Romney deep into the 2012 GOP primary calendar, at 3%.
Turnout key in midterms
The poll's release comes with 100 days to go until November's elections. And the biggest question surrounding this year's midterms is how many people will turn out to vote.
The answer is crucial, because a smaller, more typical midterm electorate should favor the Republican Party. That's because single women, and younger and minority voters, who are big supporters of Democrats in presidential election years, tend to cast ballots in smaller numbers in the midterms.
That's the problem facing Democrats this November, as they try to hold onto their 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). The party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up this year, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states. In the House, the Democrats need to pick up an extremely challenging 17 Republican held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.
The new CNN poll illustrates the turnout problem for the Democrats.
In the generic ballot question, the Democrats have a four percentage point 48%-44% edge over the Republicans among registered voters. The generic ballot asks respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.
But when looking only at those who say they voted in the 2010 midterms – when the GOP won back the House thanks to a historic 63-seat pick up and narrowed the Democrats' control of the Senate – Republicans hold a two-point 48%-46% margin.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
And here's the problem with this poll and so many others . . . . . . The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. Emphasis on the word telephone.
Most of the people polled are old people who sit home, like some of my neighbors, and tune in to faux news all day. Even if they are doing something else the half lies, hate, stupid and inexcusable rantings of a bunch of paid off crazies is what they hear all day and all night.
I for one am glad that the twit will NEVER get near the WH. He probably would have us in wars with the rest of the world and trying to figure out how to outsource WH staff to China and where to hide the money received from the sale of WH relics (Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Belgium, where or where do I put my ill gotten money says the animal abuse and his self proclaimed ugly fish tee queen wifey)
Mmm let me see. Obama is in his sixth year of ruining the country, with a repub 24 hour relentles smear machine called fox entertainment news, who still refuse to hire a single dem host, atleast MSNBC, hires right winger Joe Scarborough 3 hours every weekday morning to push the other side of the 2 party view points and control the program. Fox coward news refuse this opportunity and stay their rightwinged course of slamming this president, it doesn't matter if 90 percent is great, they only focus on the 10 percent relentlessly, until people forgot that the stuff was actually a good thing. Anyway i wonder if the country was wishing al gore had won the presidency at this stage of the bush presidency.
Wow what a skewed poll from the Clinton News Network
WHY DOES THIS MATTER??? SERIOUSLY!!!! If you take a look at our news media they are so pathetic, spending so much time of polls etc., or breaking events on the other side of the world, or the latest inflammatory statement by some politician that knows the only purpose they said it was to raise money, and so little on keeping America focused on long-term concerns. Currently the House will be going on vacation in a month. This is the same House that tore into the President over the POOR TREATMENT of our veterans. GUESS WHAT??? Two or three months have passed and they have CHANGED NOTHING!!! The SENATE passed a bipartisan bill to get things going in the right direction and the HOUSE has done nothing but TALK. I blame the News Media and the American public for the short attention span. Most of you are hypocrites when you say you support our troops, what you support is you have a bunch of Americans willing to die for you so you can read about war instead of experience it like other parts of the world. It is SICKENING and many of you in the news media should be ashamed for not FORCING Americans to pay attention to this until it is corrected. The VA is a MESS and the wounded and injured deserve much better treatment.
worst POTUS ever.....Obama
Obama loses to Romney and Romney Loses to Clinton, Romney is not a conservative – Clinton is more moderate then Romney is -what is needed is a conservative to run next election -
pols are good for running cable tv and hydro.other than that a waste of money
Just know the fact "Pres. Obama the president of USA". Learn this truth. Good lucks. I am glad we have Obama as president–not Mitt the twit.
The election is over, let's move on. stop these stupid polls. The President's approval rating was only 57% when Osama Bin Ladden was killed. That's tells you all you need to know about these survey. Support our group – Americans Against Stupid Surveys (AASS). No matter the subject matter, 20-30% will be against this President.
The never to be president who has never been required to make ONE presidential decision tops the man who has spent the past 6 years as President of the United States? This is not good news for John McCain.
@ Marie MD – the foremost problem with this poll is that is is based entirely on fiction and does a very real disservice to all CNN viewers who will be pulled into spending their day trying to digest the non importance of this poll by finding themselves arguing the merit of the poll to those who eat this propaganda as candy.
The people of America, have become too stupid to vote for a good candidate. They don't have the intelligence to even understand how close they are too a dictatorship in this country.
Clinton will be just as bad as Obama, and Warren would be the worst imaginable scenario.
These are the same people who said Romney was going to win the election by a land slide. Who were these people that were polled? the assumption of these polls is they were taken from a random sample. in other words, it is assumed that this poll is a true representation of the American people. In reality it is a convenience sample. To give a more accurate picture of the people polled, they should list the demographics of each person polled. what part of the country did the people polled come from? What age group was interviewed? What was their level of education and how did they select the people to be surveyed? I find it interesting on the poll that showed Obama to be the worst president, None of the people mentioned Nixon. This is an indicator that the people polled don't read very much or made bad grades in history.
"The CNN poll indicates that 55% of Americans would support Clinton, with Romney at 42%."
But the true and proper exposition of the failed and flawed Hillary Clinton has not yet begun. She just has so much history that can be attacked, history the telling of which has been abeyance for a good many years, years in which the GOP has no doubt been preparing to make that history known again.
Obama = 40%. GOP Congress = 7% 'Nuff said.
If the poll was taken from land line telephones it has no validity. But these polls do illustrate that the memory of the electorate is shorter than a man with Alzheimer's
One should never under estimate the stupidity of the American electorate.
Just look at what you have done now.
if romney had been elected he would be just as bad.
Guess 55% want to see our nation fully collapse, sad.
Is that you Karl?!
Still desperate to be exonerated and validated?!!
Why get upset by a POLL, they don't count, is that not what you been telling us all along.
Whether you like Obama or not depends on which side of the income redistribution equation you are.
I don' want to say it, but I told you all so.
As Obama's approval drops like a rock, we are in even more danger than before... The more desperate he becomes, the more damage he'll be willing to do the country.
@davidsavid, why is he the worst president ever? I'll give you time to go watch then regurgitate the faux new brain dead puppets.
@rickmacd, your teaklans are the ones who want to control women, gays, seniors, veteran benefits (or take them way), death panels to seniors, the poor? They don't even exist for these self appointed kings/queens.