CNN Poll: Did Romney get a convention bounce?
September 4th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: Did Romney get a convention bounce?

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - It's the question everyone's asking: Did Mitt Romney get a bounce out of last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida?

According to a new national poll released Tuesday, just before the start of the Democratic convention, the GOP presidential nominee appears to have received a one-point convention bounce, normal for the modern political era.

Full results (pdf)

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A CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that less than four in ten registered voters said the Republican convention made them more likely to vote for Romney, but the former Massachusetts governor got a slight bump in his favorable rating, and on being in touch with the middle class and women, although he still trails President Barack Obama on those two questions.

CNN's previous poll, released as the Republican convention got underway, indicated 49% of likely voters backing Obama, with 47% supporting Romney, a virtual tie. In the new survey, which was conducted Friday through Monday, entirely after the GOP convention, both the president and Romney are at 48%.

"The Republican convention had at best a mild effect on the presidential race, and from a statistical viewpoint, no effect at all," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Demographically, Romney's overall one-point bounce masks some movement among subgroups and suggests that Romney's pitch to some groups may have worked but at the expense of turning off another group of voters."

According to the survey, Romney gained seven points among higher-income Americans, but he lost four points among lower-income voters, among whom Obama now has a 15-point lead. That income difference may explain why Romney gained ground among urban and suburban voters, but lost support among voters in rural areas.

The poll indicates Romney may have picked up support among men, but there was no change at all among women, keeping in place a double-digit gender gap. And there's an interesting movement among age groups. Romney gained a bit among younger voters and among senior citizens, but Obama was the big winner among voters between 50 and 64 years old.

"It's possible that senior citizens who are already on Medicare have accepted the GOP assurances that their benefits will not be affected, but the group of Americans who are approaching retirement - who will be the first ones affected by the GOP-proposed changes in the Medicare system - are getting worried about what's in store for them," added Holland.

Romney gained among independent voters, with a three point 48%-45% margin last week expanding to 52%-42% advantage now.

So how does Romney's one-point bounce measure up in the history books?

"It's pretty standard for all conventions conducted since 2000. Twice during that period, candidates got a two-point bounce; twice in that same time, candidates got no bounce at all. So Romney's one-point bounce is right in the middle of the range that political junkies have come to expect in the 21st century," said Holland.

"Way back in the 20th century, candidates routinely got bounces of five to seven points, and double-digit bounces were often measured. But those days may be past us now - the combination of late-summer conventions, a compressed convention schedule, the increasing reliance on mid-summer advertising blitzes and an increasingly polarized electorate seems to have joined forces to dampen the effect of political conventions."

The convention did affect how voters view Romney. He went from a 46%-49% deficit on being a strong and decisive leader to a 48%-43% advantage. On the question of having a vision for the country's future, he went from a three-point deficit to a four-point edge.

And the GOP nominee gained about four to five points on questions about being in touch with the middle class and women, but Romney still trails Obama when voters are asked which candidate is more in touch with those two key groups.

Romney slightly closed the gap on which candidate would do a better job handling foreign policy, and he maintained an advantage over Obama on the economy, although the convention barely moved the needle on that measure despite a laser-like focus on economic issues in Tampa.

One thing that may have blunted the Republican convention's message is the perception by a majority in the poll that the GOP spent too much time criticizing the Democrats, leading only 36% of registered voters to say that the convention made them more likely to vote for Romney - a historically low number. Forty-six percent said what they saw or heard from the convention made the less likely to vote for Romney, with 13% saying it made no difference to their vote.

Romney's favorable rating appears to be on the rise, from 50% last week to 53% now, and his favorables have effectively matched Obama's rating among likely voters. But the president still maintains an edge on favorability among registered voters.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's favorable/unfavorable ratings among likely voters went from 45%-39% last week to 49%-38% now.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International August 31-September 3, with 1,005 adults nationwide, including 877 registered voters and 735 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered and likely voter questions.

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Phattee

    If Romney wins it will be because GOP voter suppression efforts succeeded.

    September 4, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. tim

    Can't wait to see Obama's nagative 5% decline after this week.

    September 4, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Skyler

    How cuuuuuute. Romney got a little bump bump.

    September 4, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. adonofrio

    Think about having a long-term, life-threatening illness like cancer, chemo that costs $5,000.00 per shot, an adequate retirement, but maybe not much if the markets turns downward just before you retire, good medical benefits as long as you have your job, but an iffy one post0retirement, and just one medical procedure among the 15 or so that chimed in at $6,500.00. That was the cheap one. Crises requiring periodic hospitalizations can $50,000.00 and up. Medicare charges co-pays, but private health care accounts could never mount to meet the cost, even if a person starts counting right out of college. Now who do you think I am going to vote for? Not the liars with their pants on fire, that\'s for sure.

    September 4, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. TomG

    That's what makes the whole system sort of a joke, IMO. One speech and people jump on the Romney bandwagon? As for Eastwood's "performance" it seemed rather disjointed and rambling to me. Those who really followed the convention (I'm not one of them) were probably expecting a lot more out of the "surprise" guest speaker.

    September 4, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Saboth

    I don't hate Romney, and I think he would do an "ok" job as president. I do believe the shift of our country's wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich would accelerate, which isn't good for our country. However, "Science Deny'n, Lyin' Ryan" would take us backwards in the realms of science and innovation (he's basically GW II in those respects). How can I support a President that flip flops on his stances depending on the crowd he is addressing, and a pathological liar of a VP that is against science and women's rights? I can't. If you want to see some real progress in his 2nd term, vote out the dead beat do-nothing Republicans that would risk the welfare of our country just so they can gain political power.

    September 4, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. SC

    I agree with Mama for Obama. President Obama is going to win. Good Bye GOP.

    September 4, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. derek

    I have to laugh at those who never read the article – they simply start spouting off about it ONLY being a 1% bump. READ FIRST I'd recommend – haha. This is the average bump in the 21st Century – HELLO people.
    It was a fantastic convention – amazing speeches by so many women and men, including some like Governor Martinez (she is an amazing lady – loved her line about her and her husband realizing that they were in fact Republicans after taking the time to get away from rhetoric and looking carefully at the issues).

    September 4, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. AgrippaMT

    Mittens Rawmoney will lose his puny one percent "bump" on Thursday when President Obama accepts renomination for the Presidency. From there, Obama will go on to win the election in November.

    September 4, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. 4pease

    LOL! A 1 point bounce. Who on earth can trust the GOP anymore?

    September 4, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Jose

    Dominican mama 4 Obama, you go girl. represent

    September 4, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. The Patriot

    QUIT LYING!!!!!! Romney up by 6 in a (+9 to the great god Obama) Communist News Network poll

    September 4, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. sayer

    If we elect Romney, we will only have ourselves to blame. He's telling us exactly what he is going to do...cut taxes for the rich, replace medicare with a voucher system, get rid of Obamacare, get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood and NOTHING else. Is that what we want? Don't get it twisted. Romney is bad news.

    September 4, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Michael

    What not a surprise by this liberal, mainstream news media outlet!!! According to the unbias Rasmussen Poll, which is unlike the CNN Polling (and other mainstream medial liberals) which is bias and highly weighted Democrats, Romney actually realized a 6 point bounce off the RNC, and is now leading Obama 48% to 43%. Nice Try CNN!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. malibu123

    A CNN poll, totally unbiased I'm sure. Doesn't matter, Obama's going to get stomped in November. America's had enough of an inept, fiscally irresponsible, inexperienced, joke of a president.

    September 4, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. dave

    Woo Whooo, Sorry Obama supporters but Romney is gonna win. A dic a dee a dic a dee a dic a dee!

    September 4, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Reggiedw

    I will take CNN's polling figures with an ounce of salt. CNN always try to make it look like Obama is doing better than he is actually doing. But it is not going to work in November!!!!!! Romney/Ryran will be elected come November!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Jasper

    It says something about America that Republicans can literally run the most venal, hypocritical, dishonest human being on the planet for President, and half of us will support the guy. But then, I get the feeling that the Media goes out it's way to Troll with their polls. After all, if there wasn't a tight race, how would they generate ratings?

    September 4, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. mig

    When is he going to show his last tax return? And I want to see the last ten also!

    September 4, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. John


    Can't wait to see Obama's nagative 5% decline after this week."

    I trust you're not holding your breath. It can be hazardous to your health.

    September 4, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. voting for obama in ohio

    the scary thing is the uneducated voters will believe everything ryan said.
    i really do fear what will happen to this country if the tea party gets this vote.
    It is not going to be pretty.

    September 4, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. BlkPwr817

    You cant LIE throughout the whole convention & expect a big boost in the polls. Very surprised he even got that...

    September 4, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Mark

    I do not thin either convention will get much of a long-term bounce – these things galvanize the base and are just long winded infomercials without substance anyway,.

    September 4, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Frank

    Yuck. Obromney. Rombama. Both of them have some pretty horrible track records.

    I will vote for whoever will reinstate Habeas Corpus.

    September 4, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. ObjectiveGuy

    Look for Romney to run away with it once the debates start. America will begin to remember what it's like to have a president in the WH who is actually competent!

    September 4, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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