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. Willl

    I see the Faux News trolls are on here today defending Romney as usual lying, saying the polls are not right...blah blah blah.....typical of the hysterical right. Bottom line....ROMNEY NEEDS TO RELEASE HIS TAXES...or he is hiding something.

    August 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Ben

    Haha! Look at all these pathetic heathen Yahwists who reject Mighty Baal. Conservative Christian America is going to make great fuel for the Judgement Day bonfire when the Glory of Baal and His Consort Asherah are revealed as Lord and Lordess of all Creation. They can all burn along with Elijah and Jesus for all eternity when the Prophet King Ahab refuses to plead on their behalf.

    August 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. jean

    not only about making rich....richer which is imporant here

    it is about also ; Mormon who think God punishes them by giving them a color and who think polygamy is ok.

    August 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Steve Oslen

    Conservative polls show Romney 47% Obama 43%. Remove the politics and it's tied.

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. nc1965


    There is no way in h e l l that Evangelicals, Jews and Catholics are going to desecrate their religious beliefs to vote for a Mormon, who if elected, will take the Presidential oath on “The Book Of Mormon”.

    I guarantee it!!

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Not-this-time

    Perhaps you've forgotten about George Bush, Darth Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity.......Thankfully, America has not

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Tcs

    What's the D/R/I breakdown on this poll? It's not listed anywhere.

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. longtooth

    Poor Mitt. He knows how to make money and hide it, but he doesn't know how to be a real person. He's a living definition of a stuffed shirt, and just can't fool all of the people. I voted against both Bushes, but I would be glad to have either or both to my backyard barbecue. Romney? He's the best cure for insomnia I've ever seen.

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. pippin

    As a Canadian I'd like to say if you don't want Obama PLEASE send him to Canada, we would love to have him. Before he got into power Americans were a little more than despised by the rest of the world. Since Obama we actually like you guys now. It's only Iran that still has a hard time with you and they don't really count do they.

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Guest

    CNN is a campaign center for Obama. A negative story about Romney every single day and never enything negative about Obama. I read several news sources and this has been my observation.

    August 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Bill in Florida

    Obama ahead of Romney by 7% - the same margin that Obama won over McCain in 2008. Coincidence? I think not.

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Ben

    I vowed that I would not vote for Obama again, but since Romney sold out to Sheldon Adelson and the Israel lobby, I won't be voting for him either. So now what?

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Lou50

    You can't fix stupid and if the middle class after the last three years and change think Obama is helping anything but the underachievers there is no hope for the country.

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Tell It Like It Is

    Both Obama and Romney are duds for the most part. What it comes down to is which is more of a dud than the other. Hard call.

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. chris

    Lame- Demos dont need to paint him in an unflattering light, he's doing that all by himself.

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Romney's $ 100 million IRA ...WHERE DID IT COME FROM !!!!

    Anyone that believes Romney will win this election is going to have a pretty red face ......what's gonna do Romney in you say ? His tax returns , if he releases them he's toast . If he doesn't release them he's toast .....pick your poisen ?

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. nc1965



    You Tea Party people talk loudly but you are human, you have loved ones, and you want to protect your children from the insurance companies.

    You will come to love Obamacare just like you've come to love Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Now their is a candidate that promises to take this away.

    When you are in the voting booth looking out at your families, you will realize what's at stake.

    Saying this. I will make a prediction. I predict that 50% of you will defect and vote Democrat to protect your healthcare. I guarantee it.

    August 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. tkindsm

    his unfavorable rate is up with liberals, but who cares what they think

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Aces Full

    Know what the difference is between the mindset and ideology of Obama and the Democrats in the US and the people that bankrupted Greece and half or Europe?

    Neither do I.

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    Shane –the landslide won't be in Obama's favor. The House stays GOP, the Senate goes GOP and Romney wins by 9% margin. Enough of 8.3% and 1.2%GDP.

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Salesman

    Wow this article couldn't be further from the truth. 100% GOP voters are alot more fired up to vote then the dems are for Obama. And you can tell by how Romney Kicking Obama's but in fundraising.

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Domino

    Mitt the Twitt has shown us recently that he's not presidential material. He panders too much to the rich and powerful. Getting rid of Planned Parenthood? What an idiot, doesn't he knows that they do a lot more things than just abortions? He is so anti women just like the republicans, GOP and tea baggers.

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. mdesan

    Even those in his own party aren't jumping on the bandwagon. What does that tell you? Reminds me of the Walter Mondale candidacy. I was a full-blown Conservative in those days, btw..

    August 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. The Dude

    Hey CNN – Weren't you guys calling the race for Romney yesterday?

    August 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. John

    It blows my mind that anyone with half a brain would consider re-electing Obama. This has been the worst four years of my life other than the four that Jimmy Carter was president. What are you people smoking out there?

    August 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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