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. michelle

    perfect analogy...JDinHouston...!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Kr55

    Bounces within the previous margin of error? Amazing!

    September 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. voting for obama in ohio

    before the GOP convention we leaned Obama. After the GOP convention
    we are still voting for Obama. All the speeches they can give still don't erase
    the legislation they have passed or attempted to pass. And to us that is scary.
    We will stick with Obama.

    September 4, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. C

    Yeah, 1000 voters signed up with cn3 are voting here, and that makes it accurate. Good try cn3, fox has the right data on their site.

    September 4, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Grinning Libber

    Bounce? Hardly. That's within the noise and far below historic typical levels. It's all downhill from here Mitt.

    September 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Brian

    You know your in trouble, when your bounce is less than it was 4 years ago, when the savior Palin was introduced at the convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Midway

    Lol! Bump should not be used in describing these poll results. More like slight tick!

    September 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. philliyboy

    Plenty of people I have spoken to who voted for Obama in '08 are either not voting at all or voting for Romney. Not good news for the Pres.

    September 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Carpenter Wayne Asa

    it makes perfect sense; he is the 1%

    September 4, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Tr1Xen

    @McShannon Really? Izzat who you be votin fo?

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. gskorich

    CNN must be reading my mind. i was asking people this question yesterday. did romney get ahead in the polls after the convention? answer: NO!. normally the condidate would get 3 or more points in the race but doent look tha tway forromney but how good it, now all you republicans who hate facts will have to sit this one out, paul ryan lied through his speech, conebtion goers were calling black camera people apes, mrs romeny is telling everyone she was poor and just like them while romneys dad was govenor? his polices dont add up and he is promisin the same old story with telling the middle class to take it while they lower taxes for the upper class. i dont get it

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Paulio

    Is this some kind of a joke? One point is within the margin of error of every poll in existence. This is hardly worthy of a splashy "breaking news" banner.

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. rICK

    These morons spent millions of dollars for 1 point ?

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Ron

    To those that are better of today, they must have a lot of gold, compared with the rest fo us. Gold Prices: 10/1/2008 = $737.20; 9/4/2012 = $1700. Are you better of now?

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Maybe if Mitt had explained how he was going to create those 12 million new jobs; oh yeah, "Believe In America". Say it three times with your eyes closed & PRESTO !

    September 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. samundha

    Why they called BREAKING NEWS?

    September 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Republicans had a marvelous convention. Finally people got to know Mitt Romney and his family, and Paul Ryan outside of the $100's of millions Obama/ Biden is spending on their personal attack politics. People did have a tendency to internalize those political attacks, but once they actually had a chance to listen to the Republican team, they have become more comfortable that these guys are a very capable, patriotic team looking forward to working for Americans across the country and managing an economic recovery that will put the nation back on track for all of us.

    September 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. LouAZ

    WOW ! That much, huh ?

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Jackson


    Further proof Romney is nothing more than a one-percenter.


    Post of the day!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. npforever

    If anne speech was so great as all the cnners claims 1%???? This was all about me me me me so much so neither Anne or Mitt mention our troops or thanks them for their service.

    OH I forgot none of their Sons Serve our country

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. HUH?

    I predict Obama/Biden by 14%....perhaps as much as 18%. These polls don't include minorities who don't answer the phone when they are WORKING for a living.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Bee

    A one-point bounce means nothing! No doubt it is within the margin of error of the survey anyway. The Republicans should consider this extremely disappointing "news," especially given all the hype and all the money they spent on the convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. 1doctor

    That is an expensive 1 point! WOW... My prediction....Obama gets 8% bump.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. PeterD

    CNN is highly Biased towards Romney and always try to Put Lipstick on a Pig and make Obama's beautiful and presidential. But this time it ain't gonna work.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. EMcK

    Normal for the modern political era? By "modern political era" they must mean "this election cycle". That's the lowest bounce ever as far as I can tell. McCain/Palin had a 5 point bounce. Obama had a bounce of more than 10 points in 2008. Bush had at least 4 or 5 points if I recall.

    Romney also had the most poorly received acceptance speech ever.

    Mother Jones has a chart graphing all post-convention bounces for both parties since 1984. Romney comes in dead last.

    September 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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