CNN Poll: Obama up six points over Romney
September 10th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama up six points over Romney

(CNN) - A new survey indicates President Barack Obama moved up four points following the Democratic National Convention last week, and now has a six point advantage over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll (PDF) released Monday, 52% of likely voters nationwide back the president, compared to 46% for Romney. Just before the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama was tied with Romney 48%-48%.

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"The Democratic convention was fairly well received, particularly in comparison to the GOP meeting the previous week in Tampa," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

The convention energized–at least temporarily– the Democratic base, as more Democrats (59%) than Republicans (57%) seemed to be enthusiastic about voting. This marks a turnaround from last week, when the number of Republicans who said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting was six points higher than for Democrats.

While the survey shows several changes coming out of the last two weeks, it's important to note that post-convention bounces have often proven to be temporary in past elections. A candidate may get a mild boost after a party gathering, but the question is whether the White House hopeful can sustain the momentum in the following weeks.

"The advantage of going second is you get the last word," an Obama campaign official told CNN reporters covering the Charlotte convention last week.

In fact convention bounces have become increasingly modest in the 21st century, so much so that Obama's four-point boost is considered high compared to other candidates in the last eight years. Romney's support increased only one point after this year's GOP convention, and Sen. John McCain gained no ground at all after the 2008 Republican event.

This year's Democratic event wiped away some of Romney's gains on personal qualities. The Republican nominee's favorable rating increased to 53% after the GOP convention, but fell to 48% one week later after the Democratic event. Meanwhile, Obama rose to 57% in the last week, his highest mark since 2010.

Obama also took away Romney's lead on leadership for the country's future. Now 51% of likely voters think Obama has a more optimistic vision for the country's future, compared to Romney at 41%. Last week, however, 43% said Obama was more optimistic, while 47% said the same about Romney.

Another takeaway from the two conventions was that Obama seemed to come out as the candidate with a more specific plan to help the country. Before the Republican event, 45% thought Romney was more likely to have a clear plan, while only 39% felt the same about the president. Now the two have switched places, with 45% saying Obama has a clear plan, compared 39% saying the same about Romney.

Indeed, the two events stood in contrast in terms of messaging. The Republican convention, including Romney's speech on the final night, was highly critical of Obama, and speakers repeatedly warned of another four years under his leadership.

"You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him," Romney said in one of the most pivotal moments of his speech.

Meanwhile, the Democratic convention sought to bolster Obama's work over the last three and a half years, particularly highlighting his role in the auto bailout largely credited with saving the auto industry and his signing-off on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Those two factors may also explain another interesting shift. After the Democratic convention, Obama picked up more support among men, while he maintained his already high support among women. Not surprisingly, the Democratic convention also helped drive up Obama's numbers among young and urban voters, two major factions of the Democratic base.

Responding to recent poll numbers, Romney's pollster Neil Newhouse warned against getting "too worked up about the latest polling."

"While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race," Newhouse said in a memo released by the campaign.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also responded to recent polls Monday.

"We have always believed that this will be a very close race and that continues to be the president's belief as well as the belief of those around him," Carney said in the White House daily press briefing.

For the CNN poll, ORC International interviewed 1,022 adult Americans by telephone from September 7-9. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The sample also includes 875 interviews among registered voters (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points) and 709 interviews among likely voters.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. us_1776

    And today the Congress did absolutely NOTHING !!

    You mean the GOP Norquist Admiration Society refused to do anything?

    Wow. What a surprise.


    Push "D" on all congressional and senate races.


    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. cthacker

    I don't think this poll is very dependable. Romney is shown to be much closer in other polls and in this story it read that it "indicated" Obama was ahead. The little people in this country didn't care about anything except the state of the economy and jobs. Nothing was done to help with that and now they will want change. This country needs someone to lead it and manage it, maybe we should get a new CEO? I am going to be out of a job soon and I would like to be able to find another. NOT a minimum wage position either. I want something done. Don't care how it gets done either.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. General Specific

    Breaking News....for a poll.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. hal

    The problem is that Dems needed the convention. They vote emotionally and not intelligently.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. TS

    Meh. Polling this early is like trying to pick who is going to win the Super Bowl. One team is going to have a slight advantage but it is all about who executes leading up to game time. Debates are going to be tough for Obama. We'll see.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. John

    The poll had 4.89% more Dems than Repubs, what gives?

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. achepotle

    This is temporary...the Elders of Kolob will advise the Archangel Moroni to get Romney back in the race.

    September 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Amused

    Enjoy it while it lasts, Obamabots! there will be 2 more dismal jobs reports before the election. The Nation will be watching Chicago's fall into further chaos and bloodshed under the command of Democrat Rahm. Oh, and yet another Democratic Politician was arrested today! And best of all, there are still the debates! We all know Obama makes his gaffes when he goes off teleprompter. Personally, I can't wait for the VP debate – the spectacle of Brainless Biden trying to give coherent answers should be a laugh riot. I expect Ryan to wipe the floor with him.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Norm


    Was there ever any doubt?
    Where are all the Foxtards?
    This should be hilarious.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Son of a Gip

    OMG! Romney leads independents 54/40 and yet Obama is ahead by 6 points right after the DNC Convention?
    I crunched the numbers for you sorry libs.
    The CNN sampling was 41% D, 30% R, and 29% I.
    The projected 2012 number is 36% D, 34% R, and 30% I.
    So according to this poll, Romney is ahead by 3 points.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. JS

    This election is basically the uneducated idiots in SCAMerica (ObaMORON fans) versus the smart people who don't need socialism to survive. I agree with Alger Dave's analogy as well that it's the " old determined people vs. carefree people without a car." CNN is the network and media source for the Dems and the Dumb of SCAMerica- Afterall, its top anchor scored a MINUS $4600 on Jeopardy and is one of the dumbest humans alive (Wolf). Therefore, I don't believe one word they write- or one poll they put out.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. chris chima

    i always know obama will pass Romney. the fact is simple, watch the republican convention and watch the democratic convention and see the difference.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Dee G.

    Well, I can see by a number of the posts here that the GOP/TP commenters are not ready to hear the truth.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. ant knee

    Wow. the republicans will try anything to avoid the truth. Evolution. Global warming. Now math!

    The Grand Old Party is now Old Grandpa Party. What a bunch of backwards clowns.

    They will be destroyed in the election. And rightfully so, they have squandered any chance with their lack of a solid plan and poor choices. Ryan is a joke. And Mitt is in the business of tearing apart businesses and raping the ashes. I thought we already had one of those presidents when "President" Chaney was in the White House! That worked out real well.

    How is the economy worse off? It's growing and that is despite the fact that Obama put all the war debt on the books, something GW and his friends avoided to pad his stats. It's like counting the home runs and ignoring all the strikeouts. You do realize that is the main driver of this so called debt growth right? The bs accounting practices of the previous administration.

    Just one more mess that Obama has had to clean up for the little children that made them. He already ended GWBs stupid little daddy issues war.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Think old determined people vs. carefree people without a car."

    Think old angry racist right wingers who have been radicalized over the past 4 years by the GOP/Teatrolls vs. everyone targetted by GOP/Teatrolls voter suppression efforts like the Voter ID laws, legislating early voting out of existence and regulations designed to make voter registration drives preventatively expensive or otherwise ineffective.


    The narrative the GOP/Teatrolls are selling to cover for it is already in place and teh MSM is doing everything in its power to help them with the nonsense about "enthusiasm gaps" and crap that really has no way of being accurately measured.

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Standards

    Maybe CNN will have some big breaking news announcements plastered all over their website in two weeks: "Breaking News – Obama President Obama drops 6 points, still failing the nation."

    September 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Al

    Gee....A CNN poll....Let's take it to the bank!! Ha Ha !!!! Funny how you guys at CNN never had "breaking news" when Romney showed a bounce.......Gee America wonders why???? You bunch of liberal lame brains !!

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Doug

    MTB, if you would actually read the poll. You would see its roughly 430 democrats vs 400 republicans sampled. It is within the margin of error. Do you need me to hold your hand too?

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. us_1776

    This thing is going to see-saw back and forth until election day.


    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. ESeagul

    As a proud parent of a Marine, I will never vote for a presidential candidate that neglects to at least acknowledge the sacrifice of our soldiers in the field, especially during a time of war, in his acceptance speech. Mitt Romney obviously doesn't understand that the first job of the president is to be the "Commander-In-Chief". It is clear that Obama/Biden both respect and are doing all they can to improve conditions for returning Vets. I will say thank you with my vote, I suggest you do the same.

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    How sweet it is.

    Hey Lyan Ryan .......................'TO THE MOON'

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. insight iowa

    Jobs are not Obama's fault... Ask your Republican House and Congress where the "trickle down economic" is. For 8 years now all we have heard is "if we cut their taxes they will create jobs"... WHERE ARE THE JOBS.

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Hmmm

    "Some voters will feel a bit of a sugar high," a memorandum from Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse said. "The basic structure of the race has not changed significantly."
    Hmm, I don't remember anyone feeling this "sugar high" after the RNC. I guess that explains the 1% bump for Romney after that. Maybe that's the real issue here.

    September 10, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. billy davis

    This just in: FoxNews shows will all be focused on calling this poll a lie and how polls don't matter unless a Republican is in the lead.

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. brian

    Kind of like the GOP position on gas prices. If the Obama's ratings go up then we shouldn't read too much in to it. If Romney's ratings go up then that is an indication of how American's feel. Spin away. It doesn't change how American's feel about being lied to by MR and PR.

    September 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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