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. snowdogg

    What counts is the final vote tally – unless it is like 2000 when the Supreme Court gave the election to Bush.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Mikey

    @SuperD: CNN, Rasmussen recent poll out today has it Romney 47% Obama 43% one of you is horribly wrong. Obamaloney aint no 7% up on nothing.
    Pew Research has Obama up by 10%
    Rueters has him up by 7%
    NBC/Wall Street Journal has him up by 6%
    Even Fox has Obama up by 4%

    7% by CNN is right in the mix. Can't wait for all the handwringing on 11/7. I'm sure all the usual suspects will be saying everyone is stupid or delusional for voting for Obama. It's a crowd that can't see the truth when they're staring it in the face.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Jeb

    The more Americans learn about Romney, the less they like him.

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

    CNN clothes the naked OWS psychopath and dresses-down the Tea Party retiree.

    August 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Expat American

    After the debates going into September is when polls will really start to matter.

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. New Gawker

    Personally I can't wait to see who Romney chooses for VP. The GOP primaries was such a circus, the VP is sure to be another Palin like disaster.

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Jon

    GI Joe ... that was a perfect example of Religious bigotry ... way to go. Christ would be so proud of you. NOT!!!

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. greasemonkey

    Using only "likely voters" requires the polling organization to make a judgment call as to the probable behavior of about you take the respondents at their word instead of deciding that they "probably wont vote" and disregarding their response?

    What all the national Polls are showing is that a high turnout virtually guarantees an Obama win......Hence the GOP's treasonous attempts to suppress the vote in many states...

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Jackson

    So, the GOP said their job was to ensure Obama was a one term President.

    Once they fail at that job, I wonder what they will say their job is for the *next* four years.

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. KCRick

    I question poll validity, but that being said. How can a reasonable voter think the economy will do better under President Obama? Romney certainly could not do worse.

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Ernie Zippreplat

    Gee CNN what % of democrats did you oversample ofr this poll.

    August 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. drake mallard

    Romney 'Worst Republican' to Face Obama

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making money

    The high unemployement is due to people like romney out sourcing. that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. drinker75

    Jerry, no one is accusing Romney of doing anything illegal. They are trying to show that he doesn't relate to the little guy and is going to support the rich paying less taxes (maybe even no taxes).

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. george of the jungle

    show us your tax returns mitt. people are starting to know this guy and thankfully they see him for the flip flopping twit he is. forward 2012. spin it any way you want romney is a wealthy guy wanting to buy the presidency.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Dave

    Republicans have absolutely lost their minds and consequently their integrity as well.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. edog


    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.

    Hey cubsguy4!!! Are you a moron!! The best market indicator in capitalism is the Dow Jones and S&P.
    January 2009:
    Dow was 8474.05
    S&P was 870.25

    Today the Dow is 13,125 and the S&P is 1,402.

    Think before you talk!! All that under Obama.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Bookenz

    Let's see ALL your tax returns Mitt. Why are you holding out?

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. GBfromOhio

    But but ... Fox News and the Razzpukin' poll have Romney ahead ... this is communist, socialist, gun contoller, baby killers propaganda by the lamestream media.

    - Right Winger

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. gmenfan54

    Romney is done. His credibility is shot. Hiding his tax returns and lying about his involvement with Bain Capital has turned him into a "joke".

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Norm

    What did he do?
    Release his tax returns?

    Ok Mikey...we alllll know about Rasmussen and how they have to wipe off their chin every time the Co ck brothers leave the room.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Mike A

    Tell me more about the sample. How many Republicans? Democrats? Men? Women? Age? Etc. A decent poll would include this information. CNN does not. Why?

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. CNN Fan

    I think the poll will not be different even Romney choose Ann Romney, Rice,...whoever to be his VP Candidates...because Americans vote for President no VP...and Americans who are majorities middle class already make up their mind to vote for ....Now They can proof that RICH people who use money to buy Presidency will NOT work here in the U.S....

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Independant/Libertarian Voter

    Not sure who you are polling but the Independents and Libertarians I know are NOT voting for Obama. Most are out of jobs because of his takeovers and closeouts.."Blue Light Specials" to suit the Liberal agendas.

    August 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Civilization

    Obama has nothing to run on but lying attacks on Romney. He uses his surrogates to appear clean but Reid, Pelosy and Dem Super Pacs keep hashing out the lies, no proof. And Americans believe it. Mr. "hope and change" is back to same old dirty, Chicago politicking that got him elected to the Senate.

    August 9, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. W.G.

    People are starting to realize that this tax crook isn´t in tune with the 99%. Romney is an elitist like the top 1% of
    the GOP leadership and they have nothing in common with hard working Americans . We are to be used as
    little more than slave labor . In recent years it started in the "W" Bush years , people working longer hours
    with no overtime and if you complain you get laid off . That´s the norm now and if you don´t like it , as far
    republicans are concerhed , tough . The party of NO has got to go .

    August 9, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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