CNN Poll: Romney tops Obama but loses to Clinton
July 27th, 2014
08:29 AM ET
2 months ago

CNN Poll: Romney tops Obama but loses to Clinton

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.

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%.

yyyyyy poll

"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.


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • CNN Polls • CNN/ORC International poll • CNN/ORC poll • Hillary Clinton • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (622 Responses)
  1. kit8

    What if Romney had been in charge of the country for the last 2 years? How many people would still vote for him as he tried to clean up the mess created by Bush with a broken economy and two wars Americans can't afford on the go?

    July 27, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Brian from DC

    Did they poll the 47 percent of the population that Romney openly spit on?

    July 27, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Reggie from LA

    People think they know Mitt Romney. Many folks who would vote for him know nothing about him really, except what his campaign "tales" shine on. Draft dodger and vampire capitalist are just a couple. We're not going to argue those 2 facts are we? Don't be angry because the Congress that many of you put into place has spent all its time trying to discredit President Obama and make his poll numbers go down instead of improving the state of our nation. Prosperity numbers have gone up on his watch. Actions that help get our uniformed service people have gone up. Working for consumer protections has increased....but poll numbers have "gone down". It seems that stupid clowns have had much to say, but know little to nothing.

    July 27, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. widget520

    You people kill me. NONE of you have any idea what kind of President Romney would have been. You are spewing talking points from the liberal media from 2 years ago. I dare say he (Romney) would have at least known what is going on in his own cabinet instead of finding out by watching the news. And I also believe the rest of the world would have respected him a heck of a lot more than they do Obama. Obama is a laughing stock of a president. And those of you that think he has done a good job just because he implemented healthcare need to look at the bigger picture.

    July 27, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Tommy G

    Geez, now this isn't surprising! Obama wouldn't win against Romney today now that the truth is out and Obama's incompetence is no longer being hidden from the American people and glossed over by the liberal media that sold him to the American electorate.

    I guess the American people have woken up and decided that 5.5 years of excuses, lies, finger pointing, endless campaigning, endless demonization, blaming others, endless campaign funding raises on our dime, handing Libya to the terrorists, handing Iraq to the terrorists, doing nothing while our country is invaded, doing nothing while Russia invades its democratic neighbor, does nothing but give Iran more time to develop their nuke, wrecking our healthcare system, keeping unemplyment at record levels, running up $7 TRILLION in debt is just about enough and they are finally admitting they screwed up miserably.

    Even worse, most are ready to make the very same mistake with Hillary Clinton who has already proven herself an incompetent and not up to the job of taking that 3am phone call, as Benghazi proved.

    July 27, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. chrissy

    I would like to know, where do these polls take place? Must be on the congressional floor! And if so, that would be the only task these romper room misfits complete! Have any of you people here ever been "polled"? I have never, nor has anyone i know. Sounds like something made up!

    July 27, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. anonymous

    nothing wrong with this country other than its a little more constrained and less free every political cycle

    July 27, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. exstig

    This entire article is nothing more than the continual hammering of their readerships minds. The manipulation of thought continues....

    July 27, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. CC

    I thought it was common knowledge that Obama is one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen and would not be in office if not for white guilt.

    July 27, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Johnson

    Americans who think Hillary will have a "Great Economy" like slick willie are in for a rude awakening. She is not going to have $10/Barrel Oil nor GOP Tax Cuts to boost the economy. She will Obamaette.

    July 27, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. gustifer53

    Shills: "You say the election was not accurate or TRUTHFUL". I beg to differ, President Obama won the electoral college and the popular vote. Not sure what you are accusing, but this tells me that Romney deserves to be right where he is. Sitting on the bench complaining. He is like Sarah Palin, a loud mouth whining because they both never had a shot at destroying our Country like G.W. Bush did. Plain and simple America is fortunate that neither of them won.

    July 27, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Jerry5555

    The truth is, democrats and republicans are foolish. They vote for sides rather than people. This is not a game where we should always vote by party lines. If satan ran as a democrats or republican people on his party line would vote for him just because he's in their party. Keep voting party lines people, you can see where it's getting us!!

    July 27, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Carson Thaler

    This pole just reinforces that timeless notion that the American populace is indeed, quite mentally handicapped...

    July 27, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Steve

    What's the point?

    July 27, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Quixote

    Short memories......if romney got to govern for a week we would be in dire straights instead of having a growing economy, 20 million newly insured, lowest percentage of imported energy in more than 50 years, executive action on global warming...etc etc.

    July 27, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Jeff

    I told you so.

    July 27, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. kenman14

    While it's slightly encouraging that adults have realized that their last two votes, based on race and flowery language and an illusion created in the media, was ill-advised, the fact that they would do it ALL over again with Hillary shows that they learned NOTHING of value going forward, when they'd do the VERY SAME THING with Hillary!

    July 27, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Lean6

    I love watching the media toy with the feeble conservative brain. Romney fell for this same lie in 2012 and ended up going 0 for 2 against Obama. They're baiting him for the hat trick, 0 for 3 in losing to Hillary. This poll is an arrogance and gullibility test for Romney.

    July 27, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. kenman14

    Carson,
    This "poll" doesn't reinforce that, the last two Presidential elections do!

    July 27, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. lean6

    Haven't they (conservatives) been running the same story about the Civil War for the past couple hundred years too? These people have a very hard time moving on...don't they?

    July 27, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. ja

    Sofa quarterbacks always get it right, real world bring on obstacles so as senators and phony groups Such as tea partiers stating publicly their aim is to ensure failure of a sitting president

    July 27, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    rdeleys
    I may be disappointed in Obama, but I'd rather cut my finger off with a dull, rusty knife than use it to push the button for a Republican.

    July 27, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
    -------------------------------------
    Amen Brother...

    July 27, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. ja

    Ifs are nothing but mountains of nothings

    July 27, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I am willing to bet 80% of voters who vote for her will be doing so because she will be the '1st. woman" president. Yes, that worked out so well for voting for the "1st black" president who had no bussiness background or leadership cappibilities. But by God they were "firsts". She has no background in business or leadership either. The Chhicago thuggery could come up with ZERO things in Mitt's closet. Yes, they made up a few things but they were never believable or proven to be true. I for one am ready for a decent hard working person to run this country. Throw in a good family background while we are at it.

    July 27, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Tim

    A sock puppet could beat Obama today. Even the most extreme Liberals have to admit that Obama has been a resounding failure and a disaster for America.

    July 27, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25