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. once upon a horse

    as with most polls like this the responses here will be favorable if their candidate is in the plus column and viewed as being bogus if their candidate is in the negative column so no surprise here from what I've read so far from both Romney and Obama supporters. The only real poll that counts is what lever you pull Nov 6th.

    August 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Jerry

    I think the thing that bothers me is: Everyone is making a big deal over Romney's tax returns. If he is guilty of tax evasion, or some other law, then the IRS would be all over him. Who cares if he put money in overseas far as we know... HE HASN"T DONE ANYTHING ILLEGAL!!!! If you don't like the way the tax code is written, then write your Congressperson and tell them to change it. Everyone laughs at me when I bring up a flat tax....but they're usually the first to complain about how this group, or that group gets an unfair tax advantage.

    August 9, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. cashmeremafia

    This welfare issue is not helping Romney in the least – he needs to stop this criticizing him for every little thing just because he's a Dem. You know he's right, state's rights should prevail, unless that's not what you really believe......

    August 9, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. greasemonkey

    Watching you CONs trying to convince yourselves that your guy is still in the game is always amusing....thanks for the laugh!

    August 9, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Feed the greed

    "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.

    Slow down, democrates telling the republican plan for America is negative campaigning? So telling the truth is negative. Those democrates, they need to learn to lie to make Romney sound good. Perhaps if Romney would release his taxes we could clear this all up.

    August 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Dave in Arizona

    Ouch. This has got to sting.

    Especially with the GOP's 2010 Congressional "victories" turning around to Americans now thinking the Democrats being back in control would be better than the GOP being in it.

    After 4 years of Obama and all the "bad" Republicans claim he's done, the statistical majority still want Obama.
    After just 2 years of a the GOP controlling the House, the statistical majority want the Democrats back.

    And short of something huge happening, public opinion on the candidates isn't likely to change much at this point. Now the supporters are just fortifying themselves. If Romney couldn't surpass Obama by now, he's not going to.

    August 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Boo

    Read it and weep, conservatives......

    August 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Maria Lopez

    This is a poll of registered voters rather than likely voters. Registered voter polls tend to be more favorable to Democrats, and so as polling analyst Nate Silver of The New York Times says, one has to deduct a couple of points to get a more reliable figure. Therefore, Obama is probably more like 4 or 5 points ahead. Nevertheless, the trendline is positive for Obama as all other pollsters except for Rasmussen (which has its own Republican bias) show a lead for Obama.

    August 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. DB

    cubsguy4, its obvious you live under a rock, and only come out to listen to FOX news once a month...
    Here is what you missed...When Obama took office, we were in a recession..the market/nasdaq for example was at 8000. Now hit 13000. How much more of an indicator do you need that things are better? I don't disagree that things could be better, but we have no comparision of this magnitude since the great depression to compare if it would be better under a different president . So what we do know, is that its better than it was in 2008. The Romney camp want people to look at the glass "half empty" vs the Obama camp looking at it "half full". The numbers and facts don't lie, you just have to look at the whole picture and not just tid bits...

    August 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Richard Allmen

    Lately, we have all been bombarded with relevant, enlightening details regarding presidential candidate Mitt Romney's income and effective tax rate from 2010. Previous to the current income slam campaign, provided to us by the Obama Victory Fund, I do recall similar media concerns regarding his lack of interest in providing his previous returns (The Daily Show with John Stewart). In another article from CNN, I recall that it was his father that actually began this, now expected, presidential candidate transparency procedure. I truly do wonder how the average American responds to his inability to be forthright in providing this information. It is the middle of August and still no numbers have been released beyond the single tax year of 2010. Is this a foreshadow of things to come? Should the leader of our great nation have scruples such as these? Personally, I feel that this will be the crux issue when casting my vote.
    I'm not terribly turned by the fact that Mr. Romney made over sixty-four cents per second during 2010, nor the fact that he offered a $50,000 bet on national television to one of his opponents. It is quite possible that he is not completely out of touch with the middle class, as many previous presidential candidates have obtained great wealth. However, I am truly bothered by the fact he has not followed suit by sharing more information. Logically, it seems very simple. Obviously, tax year 2010 was the most comfortable return to release. It seems to be quite a scary thought to let our imaginations fill the void for the all the other years he is refusing to share. Maybe America does want another member of the “Good 'o Boy Club” to lead us further into the political abyss.

    Richard Allmen,
    Newly converted Democrat

    August 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Kurt

    Wham! Mittens better get out of the rink before he gets pulverized.

    The most important factor: Mittens did himself in by playing hide and seek. Americans don't like it when rich people want to be president but aren't forthright with their taxes and finances. They rightly mistrust them.

    August 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. basketcase

    "most Americans think (Romney) favors the rich"
    Now where would people get a crazy idea like that?

    August 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. madness

    Follow the money

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. trex

    ........LOOK OUT..................the Ttards are coming..........the Ttards ARE COMING...............they simply wont believe that their plastic tax evader in chief is LOSING........................

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Michael

    No surprise here! The American people are not stupid!The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest five percent of Americans cost the U.S. Treasury $11.6 million every hour, according to the National Priorities Project. Between 2001 and the current projected end of the Bush tax cut extension, tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 percent will cost the U.S. Treasury $1.184 trillion. If extended through 2021 as gop lawmakers propose, the total cost will exceed $3.2 trillion. Repuglicans want Americans to forget the, evaporation of 1/2 trillion surplus, -8.9 GDP, 11 trillion national debt, 1.3 trillion deficit, 2.8 trillion in tax cuts (unpaid for)2 Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), 3 trillion borrowed from China, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis’s, losing over 800,000 jobs monthly and a economy on the brink of depression when President Obama took office

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Republican Not Voting for Romney

    Romney is toast! Try Repubs in 2016, if you can find any moderates. GOP has really disappointed me the last 10 years.

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. shaun

    I think it is reasonable to ask for more details around the polling methodology and I think CNN should provide that information. But I don't understand the point of attacking the messenger just because you don't like what you hear. If you just want to hear your own views repeated back to you as "facts", then pick your biased sources and stick with them. Don't bother joining reality.

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. ejktexas

    Where is Gary Johnson in this poll? He actually has a party nomination.

    August 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. trex

    ..........Just wait until AFTER THE DEBATES........Willard will get about 38% of the vote.................

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. FahQtoo

    Obama holds 7 point lead over Romney.

    You know the best thing about all this Rigt Wing hate aimed at Obama? Its gonna be that much sweeter when he wins in November. Keep the hating up, GOP...your doing a great job! Ha!

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. DJ

    Cubsguy4 wrote: "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."

    Google your own response. On the day Obama took office the Dow was 8,279. Today the Dow is 13,165. Seems pretty positive to me!

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. streetdude66

    Heres a statistic: 100% of the 99% were burned by the GOPs Trickle Down Economics while 100% of the 1% grew richer under Trickle Down. What that means is that as Mitt espouses the benefits of Trickle Down to the 99% that 100% of that demograhic wont believe him and are less likely to vote for him because as Lincoln said, "You can fool all of the People some of the time and some of the People all of the time but you cant fool all of the People all of the time". So with apologies to Lincoln even tho the GOP can fool the all of the Jesus Crispies ALL of the time it wont be enough to win him the election.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. krehator

    GOP picked the wrong guy, AGAIN.

    I've said it before. The Dem's did not win the last election. The GOP lost it. Now they will lose it again.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Mickey

    I think the Democrats' negative ads were effective and avoided blowback because while negative, they were never dirty. They never contain outrageous lies the way Republican ads do. (They contain spin sure, all politics contain spin.) Romney's latest ad claims Obama gutted welform reform by dismantling the back-to-work components, which is false. Even Newt Gingrich admits there is no proof of that. Several states, including many Republican governors and ROMNEY HIMSELF, asked the federal government for waivers so they could create their own back-to-work programs. Obama gave them the waivers but with the stipulation the states have to demonstrate their programs would put people on welfare back to work.

    It also should be noted that Romney did as much if not more than the Democrats to show himself in a bad light, from the fact he is obviously hiding something in his tax returns, to his gaffe-filled RomneyShambles World Tour. There's a certain amount of self-sabotage going on here.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. billy davis

    FoxNews and the teatards are outraged......Oh, they are outraged if the sun shines on America....

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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