CNN Poll: Did Romney get a convention bounce?
September 4th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 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. Ran

    If a man can believe in magical underwear–what can't he believe in?

    September 4, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    who can trust the top not to lie; They don't even have any basis of truth, they just make wild comments and I used to be one of them

    September 4, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. John Wayne

    Whoever wins, the man on the street will loose and have lost it long ago. It's a circus, drama to make you believe you actually have a voice while the big corps suck the blood out of you. No matter who who wins, they laugh.

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

    well, CNN, actually the question is this: This is BREAKING NEWS?

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

    I will be voting against Romney yet not for Obama. Who needs another president looking forward to his next four years in the first four instead of taking care of business in the first four no matter the cost politically? Lets see what Obama does in his last four when not matter what he does he can't run again.

    September 4, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. The Patriot

    Obama has NO record, has added 5 trillion to debt as compared to Bush's 150 billion, Obama insulted all of our allies and bowed to our enemies, all he does while a nation sinks is golf, vacation, and take credit for Bush's greatness.

    September 4, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. pat carr

    "Its plain simple... this is how America votes. 1. Illegals vote for Democrats because they can stay in the country, dont pay taxes, free health, education and food. 2. The blacks vote for democrats so they can get their welfare, make kids stay home and eat potato chips and double cheese burger. 3. The rest vote republican. Unfortunately America is made of the first 2..."

    WRONG! a lot of the "rest" vote obama. Your post is shamefully racist. I know a lot of hard working blacks. Shame on you and your 40 IQ posting

    September 4, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. ColdBeerz

    Wow, a CNN poll shows a 1 point lead? Obama better schedule a moving van.

    September 4, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Ann

    I could never vote for anyone that says allow a child to be born and become conscience of life and then tell them that because they don't have a lot of money that now they can die.

    September 4, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. TW

    1000 people called over 4 days in late August is unlikely to represent an accurate assessment of a nation of 240mm people.

    September 4, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. snods-are-us

    vote out the GOP Tea Party and things will be fine with Obama... in fact, the reason why things are not as good as they can be is squarely in the GOP mirror.

    September 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. HomeSweetHome

    I think the American People have said they have suffered to long,

    It is time to send the GOP home to their rocking chairs so they can set back and remember when,

    The world needs to move on and since they have shown us that they do not want to move forward it is time for them to be downsized.

    September 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Jay

    I believe the 1 point bounce really came from the Clint Eastwood Fans that thought he was promoting a new movie called "My Chair and ME"

    September 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Unafiliated

    CNN Polling Director, Keating Holland: "Americans who are approaching retirement... are getting worried about what's in store for them"... and he can read that between the lines of the poll because Romney lost percentage points in that demographic... yet the loss was less than the published margin of error for the poll. Way to go, CNN, nice unbiased reporting, as usual.

    September 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. KA

    1% bump, funny!! This can disappear within a day or so.

    September 4, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. machende

    Easy sailing – Romney is better off than he was 4 Years ago. Bain Capital has done so well under Obama than Bush – Go figure – Are you better off Ro-Money or Romney? Tell the truth!

    September 4, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. a fair wage

    Polls what a joke!! Most people under 40 do not have land lines. It will be like the last election OBAMA by a land slide. Women, blacks, Hispanics and the ones under 40 will come out in force. After the election the old white people will call everyone stupid. It is not being stupid it is people want change. The GOP has been hijacked by the tea party and religious groups.

    September 4, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Don't Waste Time

    Not sure how they get these numbers. A simple question will decide this election “Are we better than 4 Years ago” ..Majority of the democrats say we are not…then why we waste our VOTE and Time to Nobama. Romney will win landslide?

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

    When I actually see members of Obama's lap-dog media starting to criticize him and reluctantly praise Romney, I know that this election is going to be an absolute landslide for the GOP. The media knows it, and doesn't want to lose any more credibility than they already have by continuing to blindly support Obama, when it's clear that most of America has recovered from its Kool-Aid hangover, and now sees his failed presidency for what it is. Can't wait to see forward momentum in this country again–it's been waaaaaaay too long!

    September 4, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. pat carr

    "all he does while a nation sinks is golf, vacation, and take credit for Bush's greatness."

    Wow! a genuine BushBot. Obama has a record, just one one you like.

    September 4, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. chunk a chunk

    Romney seems to be redefining the word "bump". Apprently it now means within the margin of error of the previous poll.


    September 4, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. V Simmons

    Why does this fall under the CNN headline "BREAKING NEWS"? Granted it is news but breaking news?

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Bassmaster22

    Polls mean nothing. It's basically the equivalent of polling a few city blocks somewhere and then saying that it represents the entire country...and it's about as pointless as weighing yourself everyday.
    Watch the conventions, watch the debates and avoid the media. Not sure why people are so obsessed with what everyone else is thinking and why they accept people from all sides telling them what to think. It's why no one can make their own decisions anymore...and also why everyone is a self-proclaimed expert.
    And by the way, unless you're living in one of the handful of states that matter, your vote on election day won't count. Statistically speaking, it is worthless. No one died for my right to vote but rather people died for my right to excersize or not excersize my right to vote. Being forced to choose between to candidates that do not represent your beliefs and then being told that if you don't choose one you can't have an opinion is not democracy, it is oppression.

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. TheDj

    CNN poll, nuff said...

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. bearced

    @ objectiveguy You mean like Clinton? W certainly wasn't competent!

    September 4, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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