August 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 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. Concerned Ma, Resident

    I am surprised the Conservatives haven't told Romney to just go home. At this point Palin has a better chance! Very SAD, if the Republicans have any hope left, it will be replace Romney before it's too late. This is the most horrible shape I have ever seen any Republican party in. I guess poor me........

    August 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. CharlesKayeMBA

    Woohoo – another poll for the lefty media to tout. Oops, Rasmussen's latest poll has Romney up by 4 points. Unlike CNN, Rasmussen only includes "likely" voters. CNN uses all registered voters – including ones that won't vote, therefore, the CNN poll is inherently inaccurate... not everyone votes.

    August 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |

    "CNN Poll: Obama holds 7-point lead over Romney"
    We have to keep working hard in order to get the desired candidate elected!
    The Republicans will steal this election if it's close
    They are already trying to buy the election
    Talk to your friends and neighbors
    Help get people to the polls
    Help get people registered to vote
    Make sure you and everybody else has voter id

    August 9, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Bteen9

    Twit Romney is just another rich tax evador that thinks that the next thing he deserves is be President. Is America that naive to put in the white house the same party that shamed the US international prestige, collapsed te economy, put 8 million Americans out of work, wasted 1 trillion dollars in Iraq?. Some of us have not forgotten Geroge Bush.

    August 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Mormonism - the Basics:
    Willard is a bishop in the Mormon cult and it is a cult of people who follow the fraudulent "revelations'" of a con man who claimed an angel appeared to him in upper state New York in the early 19th century, told him where to dig up a chest containing "golden plates" on which were an unknown form of hieroglyphics which only he ( Joseph Smith ) could translate by means of accompanying "magic translating stones".

    Think about this for a moment.

    How likely is it that an omniscient God would chose this method to transmit his word to the world ?

    Unknown hieroglyphics buried in a hill in upper state New York untranslatable except for magic stones in the possession of a semi-illiterate con man ?

    Smith, a 19th century man translated these hieroglyphics into 17th CENTURY ENGLISH with the help of friends and neighbors who could write. Does that make any sense ? Would an all-knowing God have done anything like this ?

    Some facts about the Book of Mormon which derived from the "golden plates" :

    >>>>>>>25,000 words of the Book of Mormon were taken directly from the Old Testament
    >>>>>>>2,000 words were taken from the New Testament
    >>>>>>>The phrase " and it came to pass" was used some 2,000 times .
    >>>>>>>of the 350 names in the Book of Mormon, 100 came straight from the Bible.

    BUT wait...There's more .....

    Romney is a bishop in the cult and as such believes that women have no place in the church hierarchy much as believed by Catholics, Jews and Muslims.

    August 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. JohnDHater


    Q: Hey libs can you tell me what positive reaction the market has taken since prince Obama has taken office.....I thought so.

    A: Since the beginning of Obama’s term in office in January 2009, the S&P 500 is up 60%—twice the average of all the 18 presidential terms since Roosevelt’s third.

    Statement: Oh by the way using lame excuses like this is what was handed to him doesn't count.

    Response: What was handed to him is still valid along with GOP Congressional members NOT doing their jobs!!!

    August 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Ram

    Rasmussen is the most accurate poll in the nation!

    August 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Bubba

    Okay now let's poll the white people..

    August 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. N. Shapiro

    Romney is getting lots of big “contributions”

    It’s pretty obvious where the Republican money is coming from !!

    The oil companies are ripping us off at the gas pump,

    and giving our money to Romney and other Republicans.

    Reduce your gas purchases,

    and contribute to Obama , for your own best interest.

    Pass it on!!

    August 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. andy

    Read the poll you idiots, they questioned 7% more registered democrates than republicans!

    August 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Jon

    There is a lot of talk about Rasmussen poll vs CNN ... the simple fact that CNN polled 10% of people that can not vote (without fraud – or legally registering) demonstrats that the poll sample is wrong. On the other hand Rasmussen does not poll cell phones which means that it has a slight democrat lean. This would be reflected in the polling numbers unless they do an algorythm correction, which should raise their sampeling error.

    With how badly CNN has done in their election polling over the last few elections ... and how much better Rasmussen has done projecting the winners with their polling, I wouls sugest that Rasmussen has the more accurate poll.

    One othe rpoint that support this theory, the rasmussen poll doesnt stay static, rather it bounces back and forth, just 2 days a go it had Obama up by 1 point. This shows that their sample are varying, but are consistant.

    August 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. GL

    This is real bad news for Mitt since they did inclued cell phones.

    August 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. GL

    Rasmussen do not use cell phone.

    August 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Wee Publican

    Republicans accuse CNN of fixing poll numbers in Obama's favor.
    But love it when Rasmussen does the same thing to put Romney in the lead.

    Dear Republicans,
    we are going to fix all of the polls to show Romney clearly in the lead.
    This should make you feel better until November......
    When you lose.

    August 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Voter

    Hey, to all of those people who say this poll is bias toward obama.

    Goto, which has a list of polls taken for the election. With this poll, their poll of polls has obama up by 4, including the 2 polls that has Romney in the lead.

    If you don't like the poll results. GET OVER IT

    Obama 12

    August 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    Look at CNN's ratings and that will tell you something about their polls. You need to take an average of 3 national polls. CNN poll has ALWAYS been skewed. But let them think he is ahead by 7.

    August 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. GL

    The sample includes 760 interviews among landline respondents
    and 250 interviews among cell phone respondents.

    Real bad news for Romneyhood.

    August 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Johnson

    People are seeing thru the carefully manufactured facade of Mr. Romney. Now, were he to release those tax returns and explain why he took advantage of the tax loophole for Bain Capital perhaps we could believe more of what he says.

    August 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. art

    Regarding the Rasmussen presidential poll. One day, Romney is ahead by 4, Two days later, Obama is ahead by 2, two days after that Romney is again ahead by 4. People's opinions don't change that wildly in one week. It's well known that Rasmussen has a bias towards repubs but now it's becoming apparent that Rasmussen's polls are basically garbage. You'd think they were using a random number generator to create such ridiculous daily differentials.

    August 9, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Skeptical News Reader

    This CNN Poll oversamples Democrats by 6%. For reference, that's nearly as high as 2008 levels when all the college kids came out to vote for Obama in droves. I
    n 2010, Democrats and Republicans had roughly the same turnout or Dems 0% oversampled. Therefore, this poll is skewed toward Obama and inflates his poll number percent. If CNN is interested in helping Obama win, they probably should use more accurate samples - inflating Obama's poll numbers will only keep overconfident Dems home because they'll think it'll be a wipeout.

    For the record, Rasmussen polling is much more accurate, as it polls likely voters and has only been about 1% off from the actual results in the past.

    August 9, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Hippie Johnny

    Given the complete dishonesty of the Obama campaign...why should Romeny release MORE of his tax returns? Why should he give the people who have already demonstrated a nearly limitless capcity to twist, disort and outright lie an opportunity to do so with his personal financial records? The real question democrats need to focus on is how far are they willing to let this band of thugs and liars drag their party into the gutter? This is without question the sleaziest Presidential campaign I have ever seen. You folks are selling your souls for four more years of lies, failed programs, back breaking deficiets and incoherent foreign policy. Is it really worth it?

    August 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. eric

    Are these the same polls that were part of the Scott Walker loose? yeah I thought so, good bye Obama

    August 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Patriot Awesome

    Obama's lead will only get larger once the debates happen. Romney is going to get crushed.

    August 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Canuck

    " the socialist POTUS,,,actually a Marxist "

    Do you know what you are talking about??? Obama is neither – he has disappointed many liberals with his centrist politics. At least make your silly insults factually correct.

    August 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    cubsguy4: 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.


    No problem at all:

    Bush handed Obama the Dow at 7,949. It has now grown to 13,165.

    That's is up about 60%.

    By the way, when Clinton handed the Dow to Bush it was 10587, and he decreased it considerably. So if you want to talk about a party being bad for the market, I guess you might want to look at your Republican friends.

    Be careful what you wish for............. idiot.

    August 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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