August 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama holds 7-point lead over Romney

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is up, most Americans think the Republican presidential challenger favors the rich, and it appears the number of people who believe that the economy will not get better if Romney is elected has edged up slightly, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that Romney's supporters are increasingly getting behind the presumptive GOP nominee.

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It all adds up to a seven point advantage for President Barack Obama over the former Massachusetts governor, with 52% of registered voters questioned in the survey saying that they'd vote to re-elect the president and 45% backing Romney.

"Among independent voters, the poll indicates President Obama has a 53%-42% lead," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The president holds a nine point advantage among women voters and a smaller six point edge among men."

The good news for Romney: Four months after he wrapped up the race for the GOP nomination, 56% of Romney voters say they strongly support him, up from 47% in May. Sixty-one percent of Obama voters say they strongly support the president.

Since the start of the general election in April, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups have launched attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee, and the survey indicates that they appear to be working.

While Romney's favorable rating has remained steady (47% now compared to 48% in July), his unfavorable rating has jumped from 42% last month to 48% now. The president's 56%-42% favorable-unfavorable rating now is little changed from July.

Among independents, the poll indicates Romney's image has taken a beating. In May, only 40% of independents had an unfavorable view of Romney. Now, 52% of independents have a negative view of him.

Other findings: Sixty-four percent of all Americans, and 68% of independents, think Romney favors the rich over the middle class. And 63% of the public thinks Romney should release more tax returns than he has already made public, a figure which rises to 67% among independents.

"These are all signs that a summer of negative campaigning on the part of the Democrats seems to be taking its toll on the presumptive GOP nominee," says Holland.

Most significantly, it appears that Romney's image as a can-do guy on the economy may have also been hurt. In May, 50% of all Americans said that the economy would get better if Romney were elected. That's now down to 45%, two points below Obama's number. It's likely that all of this is the result of the Democrats' efforts to paint Romney in an unflattering light, but so far Obama has avoided any blowback from that strategy, as evidenced by no rise in his unfavorable rating.

Who do Americans think will win the election?

Regardless of which candidate they support, 63% think Obama will win re-election, with one third saying Romney will win.

"That may not translate directly into votes, but it is worth noting that in August of previous election years, the public accurately predicted the winner in 1996, 2000 and 2008, and in 2004 George W. Bush and John Kerry were tied," adds Holland.

Control of Congress is also up for grabs in November. According to the survey, 45% say the country would be better off if Congress were controlled by Democrats, with 39% saying things would be better if the GOP ran Capitol Hill.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International Tuesday and Wednesday (August 7-8), with 1,010 adults nationwide, including 911 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC poll • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (430 Responses)
  1. Observer91

    I like how everyone commenting on this report in a negative manner (the majority of them I'm sure are consercatives) has taken this as so offensive to warrant an accusation that CNN sampled more Democrats than Republicans. Yet they have no proof of such a silly accusation. The known fact is that most polls indicate that President Obama is leading Romney by between 4-10%. If what these conservative commentators are saying is true, that would mean that any poll puting Obama in a higher likelyhood of winning is sampling more Democrats than Republicans, including Fox. Hmmm, kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. zoeyj

    JUST HOW........HOW can this be true......Mitt even has promised Kool-Aid for all if elected........

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Bushy Walrus

    You Wal-Mart Republicans are the ones feeding the neo-cons and tea baggers. Stop voting for these awful people. .

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Liza

    Mitt is not only a tax dodger in chief, he and his entire staff refuse to answer questions. Instead, they answer the question by steering to Obama . Answer the damn questions! And show us your tax records.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Ray

    Obama's plan has succeeded though... in his own mind. He must be nuts. How's the deficit being cut in half coming? All those other campaign promises that haven't turned out? Yeah, one termer at best. What happened with Chick-Fil-A will show you all it's a pre-cursor to the election. Thanks Rahm for helping wake up a sleeping giant...the silent majority.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Surferpoint

    If I have to chose between 4 years under Romney over 4 more years of the nightmare with the current person, I chose Romney.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Voter

    Hahahaha no Mittens for you

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. EdR

    I think people are finally starting to send a message that the United States of America can't be bought with the 100s of millions contributed to the Mitt by his billionaire buddies.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. petemg

    Is this poll fact or another one of Obama's scams. We should look at the whole picture. Okay you people say that Mr. Romney should reveal his tax records. Why didn't we demand to have Obama reveal his birth certificate after all isn't the mere citizen supposed to when it comes to banking and such. Show us your school records Obama. Tell us what your major was. How did he get into office without showing his proof of citizenship. Once is no worse than the other. People should think about what it will mean to have Obama in for another four years. Better yet tell Congress to nullify his misuse of his executive decision. Don't you Obama backers remember what Obama has said and done over the live tv. MR. ROMNY WE NEED YOU.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. You People Aint Seeing Our Tax Returns

    Goodbye Mr. Romney. You will hopefully fix your tax returns by 2016.

    August 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. LookAtHimFail

    Our econonmy got worst. BECAUSE of how Obama handled the economy once Bush was out. Think?

    The rich are not just rich. They're family started poor somewhere in history. Through hard work. So I wonder.
    Who hires people? Rich people. Who keeps the the companies door's open? Liberals hate to think it. But its the RICH>

    August 9, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. bigbluetundra

    Romney's backing is falsely inflated. This is intended to keep up ratings unti the election, which will be a non-event. Obama will easily win, barring any major catastrophes between now and November.

    August 9, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. soulchild

    Hey libs can you tell me what positive reaction the market has taken since prince Obama has taken office.....I thought so.
    Oh by the way using lame excuses like this is what was handed to him doesn't count.
    cubguys are you referring to the stock market??? Have you picked a newspaper in the last four years? Or even accidently walked by a TV discussing the stock market? Because if you had you may have realized that the stock market was around 6,500 shortly after President Obama took office in 2009. Today it will close somewhere around 13,100. In case you’re wondering, that’s more than double.

    Now we may not agree on how/why it got to the number it is today, but when you make statements like, ‘tell me what positive reaction the market has taken since prince Obama has taken office.....I thought so.’, you’re coming across as incredible uninformed.

    August 9, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. bluedogboy

    Everyone (inlcuding Mitt) knows he paid a lesser tax rate than the average American. It is what it is and we can all accept that. What he's hiding is all the money he has scattered overseas.If you want to lead this country, all of your fortune should be invested here. That's what he 's hiding from us. He knows it looks bad.

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Bushy Walrus

    I predict Obama will carry Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Virginia and win the election easily.

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. tee27

    Miit said today again he will not release his past federal income tax returns. Also note John McCain was ask today about Reid attack on Mitt about not paying federal income tax in 10 years McCain took the fifth. So this is telling me John McCain knows Mitt has not paid his past taxes.

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. dd

    and what part of "cnn poll" are you people not getting......

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. sahara

    Welcome to our world Willard Romney, when Santorum and Newt prophesied that Mitt is the worst person to run against Obama, the GOP dumb heads never listened, Mitt is a bad market, just name one thing you will support Mitt for, he was the Governor of MA, now he is running against his Executive Experience where he passed ROMNEYCARE, now as a Business mogul, Mitt creates wealth in the expense of whatever, either killing or off-shoring Jobs, denying people their means of livelihood and health insurance, and never care about creating jobs. This may be a great business success but not a great leadership idea, so now Mitt is even distancing himself more with Bain, he traveled abroad, instead of showing strength as a Commander in Chief to be, he messed up all our allies from start to finish that he visited, to the extent that Obama had to apologize for Romney, he is a severely conservative now but was a moderate before, i mean, in all Ramification, he embraced the Ryan Budget that will turn Medicaid into a Voucher program thereby denying seniors healthcare, he doesn't care about the very poor, for him Willard, Corporation are People, he cheated on his taxes and wont release them, and just name it? Mark my word, before the convention, Romney will drop out, he will resign from contesting, just mark my word, there are a lot information out there that will make this happen.

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. coolbreeze

    KING KONG DON"T GOT NOTHING ON ME! I bet that's what President OBAMA is saying right now

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Louis

    The current state of our nation is caused by years of incompetent political hacks from the Democratic and Republican parties. Any American who thinks either party will fix our problems is a fool.

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. josh rogen

    looks like the DNC's propaganda campaign is working

    August 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. R-man

    There are many reasons to not like the Romnoid but one could look no further than he wants to INCREASE the pentagon budget. That's right, $700 billion per year isn't enough for nuts like Romney or Ryan. Can't come close to reducing the deficit or fund the many other areas that need money if you give it all to the military industrial complex.

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Romney sucks.

    Maybe if he stopped being so obviously insincere, released his taxes, and developed a plan which would actually work, then he'd be electable, but really he's gone from a slightly boring but halfway decent human as governor of Mass to a trashy disaster for the GOP, and he was never very honest.

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Hillcrester

    The more people gphear from and about Romney, the less they llike him and the less inclined they are to vote for him.
    That can't be good for his chances in the election.


    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. blake

    CNN continues to post articles about Romney stating their leftist perspective as fact. That is not news reporting. It's called propoganda. We will find out what "most Americans" think in November. Don't be surprised if it doesn't align well with what CNN says most Americans think.

    August 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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