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. ptny

    Paul Ryan's credibility is already toast. Next he'll say he won all the races in Romney's olympics!

    September 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Dan

    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...

    September 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Mark L.

    Good grief – a 1-point jump !! I bet the Democrats are shaking in their boots now...As we say in Brooklyn, NY – Fughetabouddit !!!! LOL... Obama / Biden 2012 – ALL THE WAY !!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Thaw

    I am really tired of the sordid tactics being played by the GOP. I hope that the one point increase will show how bad the Romney campaign really is. Hopefully they will fall on their faces after everything is over !!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I'm not going to comment on politics or the election, but "Why is 1% lead for Romney over Obama "BREAKING NEWS",

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Its nothing compared to the bounce Romney will get in November, when we bounce his worthless hide back to the home state of his choice.

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. voting for obama in ohio

    HUH? I kind of feel the same way too. I cannot believe it's this close.
    the legislation that the tea-party is wanting to enact is over the top
    ridiculous. I cannot believe that almost half of Americans are ok with it.
    If they are they had better wake up before November.

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Mark

    Not voting for Mitt Robmey and his lapdog, Lyin' Ryan.

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. ᾨ CHE ᾨ

    It doesn't look GOOD for the so-called whittie hope and CNN Pundit.

    Call 211 if you need help from whittie hope; Kitten Romney.

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. SwollenGoat

    The republicans are only fooling the ignorant and the partisans.

    September 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. manomundo

    I believe Romney/Ryan's numbers will increase when the sports-playing public finds out that Ryan is the world's best marathoner.

    September 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. mike58

    Clint is the man very funny speech
    LIBs hate facts

    September 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Pollster

    "one-point convention bounce, normal for the modern political era"?????? So by the modern political era you must be referring to the 2012 GOP convention. Steinhauser, dude, you should do a little research on past convention bounces so you won't look so ill informed.

    September 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. sammy zoso

    Vote for Obama in 2012!

    September 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. ryantorgeson

    That was an expensive point.

    September 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. adonofrio

    Think about having a longterm, life-threatening illness like cancer, chemo that costs $5,000.00 per shot, an adequate retirement but 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 chimes in at $6,500.00. That was the cheap one. Crises requiring periodic hospitalizations run $50,000.00 and up. Medicare charges big 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 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Two things: LOOOOOVE your moniker! lol!
    Secondly: Add me to the list of folks wayyyy better off under President Obama. My 401k got off life support and is doing well breathing on its' own, aaaaand he saved my job in the auto industry.
    Looooove my President!!!

    September 4, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Nick-o

    I especially liked the fictional version of their past Anne Romney laid out in her speech. So you're telling me the son of a governor and presidential candidate "struggled?" Really? how stupid do you think we are?

    September 4, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. blame Bush

    Gained one point...after a convention. That's a terrible "bounce" for any politician following an election.

    September 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Jose

    once again.....The question is not "are you better off now than 4 years ago", but...."DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO 4 YEARS AGO"........ Hell to the NO

    September 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Leroy

    This poll is a perfect example what a Romney/Ryan administration would do for America....virtually nothing!

    September 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. blame Bush

    Gained one point...after a convention. That's a terrible "bounce" for any politician following the party's convention.

    September 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. kflanigan

    1 point will be gone in a few days. Romney needs to play like Oprah and give everyone a free car if he wants to win.

    September 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Name David

    The well-being of the American economy is with this election. All Romney read about the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution. Do you see any similarities with the Czars of Russia and Versailles in France with Romney.

    September 4, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Bob

    They polled mostly democrats. Interesting.

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