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. Tom

    One point isn't a momentum changer. Mitt the Flip is in serious trouble.

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Lou50

    well like every time the pollsters lie about the numbers till it gets down to the wire and all of a sudden it is even. Hard to believe Americans are dumb enough to support the White House and Congress. They both need to be replaced!

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Richard

    The Gallop poll site says Mitt got NO bounce, and says "Romney becomes one of three recent nominees - and the first Republican - who did not receive a convention bounce, joining George McGovern in 1972 and John Kerry in 2004."

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Dan586

    Watch ! Obama will get a 8 to 10 point bouce from the Democrat Convention

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Jim

    You overpolled republicans CNN

    September 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. kaligaclark

    I heard candidates usually get a 5% bump, what does this say about romney... Maybe ALL the LIES him and ryan told hurt him with the other 4%!

    September 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. obamamnesty

    It is a CNN poll! I actually expeceot a 2-3 point rise for Obama. CNN the most mistrusted name in news.

    September 4, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. southernsugar

    It means laughing out loud...goodness!

    September 4, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. 1termlimits

    Face it....D or R were all get used to it! weather ur working for the 1%er's or Uncle Sam, were broke!

    September 4, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. sally

    CNN did a good job at keeping the bump to a minimum.

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    Wow, most candidates get 5-11 point bump. Our Prez will be re-elected for sure. Thank goodness!

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. CNN bias

    1 point isn't a bounce. Calling it a bounce makes you biased.

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. npforever

    The CNNers said Anne's speech was so fantastic yet neither anne or mitt mention to thank our Troops for their service.
    It was all bout them me me me me me but why would they thank our Troop none of their 5 Sons have ever Service this Great Country nor do they intend to.

    So when Romeny & McCain beat the war drum it's for the lives of our Sons & Daughters Not Anne & Mitt

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Polltroll

    Polls must have been conducted by the election commission; they really like the whole "down-the-middle" approach. Wake up everyone.

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. toddamorgan1

    Romney just has to move the needle slowly his way every week. He will be able to do that because there are 14% of the people who voted for Obama last time who are seriously considering changing their vote. This is good news for Romney.

    September 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. paul

    I want to ask, did anyone poll the planet of kolob?.mitt is sure that is where god lives.If he wins will we see a manned mission to kolob?..i am so excited!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Jersey George

    Viewers thought the RNC convention was a Comedy Central three day marathon and gave it a one point bounce because of Clint Eastwood's routine.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Susan

    How can you defend lying? How can the news media we depend on defend not fact-checking and following up on it and calling the liars to the 'carpet' on their lies–and I don't care who is lying...I want to know the damn truth about the President and Vice President that are running (ruining) this country–that directly affects you and me.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Bill

    This is news in that it is such a pathetic and irrelevant "bounce". As was noted above, a wet sponge would have gotten
    a larger bounce.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Bones

    Mitt Romney will be worse for this country than George, Dick, Don & Carl. He's a bean counter and does not care about people at all. At Bain, if it was more be damned...people be damned. If he gets in it will be the same philosophy...people be is ONLY the bottom line that matters.

    September 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. zod

    It was probably more than one but that was all CNN would admit to.

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. RWBIowa

    From reading these post I would say most just dont get it and we the American people are in for a disaster. Conventions are just a way to motivate the base/ Why is it that the media covers one party more than the other??? And that chair bleongs to the American people. It is only on loan till we say who sits there. Maybe go back 4 years and re-run the statements made... Do they match. Talk about a spin. Whos kidding who on recovery!!! Really...I wish there was a journalist out there that would really give us the truth on both sides. And why no metion of the 2014 movie I recall a movie Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 Michael Moore the media covered in prime time

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. bleedsnyblue

    what goes up....

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. TheDudeAbides

    Mitt is the Ward Cleaver of candidates.

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. BuckUpUS

    Oooooooooooooooooooo – one point. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet

    September 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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