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. tv22

    Scary, but it's happening. Class warfare is winning. People hope failure will change?

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. winky

    People are finally realizing that Willard is an empty suit with no vision for our country and that Obama is the man to lead us for the next 4 years!

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. t3chn0ph0b3

    Interesting. The betting odds on who will win the election barely moved. They moved a little, but not much at all. Unless they show a big jump or huge difference, these opinion polls don't really mean much in the real world, do they?

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. wally

    That Mitt Romney is some speaker, ain't he...:(

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. trayvon47

    I'm amazed at this point the republicans don't just straight up offer all americans $20 cash if they win the election. Money is the only language they know so why not just break down and go with what you know. If the republicans win the whitehouse everyone wins $20 and every senate or house seat that changes to republican control wins everyone $5. Can't go wrong with that.

    September 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Ken

    Bring on the Debates against the 80 year old mormon with his precious Dressage. Those silly non millionaires have no right to see my past returns. They are such Peasants. Yea Mittster, we will remember that on election Day.

    September 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. 1termlimits

    Jimmy Carter was up 6 -9 points prior to the election! Regan WON!

    September 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. DumbasRocks [R]s

    This is a terribly better pill to swallow for the rightwing. The looney-goons gathered $100's of millions from their feral followers to knock Obama down. And what did they get? Obama is UP!! What a typical business model for the Teatards!

    But I'm sure the vapid [R] masses will all shake their etch-a-sketches in concert with Romnutz, and they will declare UP is down!!! Afterall they want us to believe that the economy was GOOD under Bush and has been much, much WORSE undr Obama.

    Up is DOWN; good is bad; losing is winning.......ahhh the delusional life of Teatards.

    September 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Smarter than You

    Before some RepoBot claims (again) Reagan was down to Carter in the polls on Election Night:

    From the NYT:

    "Mr. Carter led Mr. Reagan by a wide margin in polls in January and February 1980. The numbers drew closer together in the spring. By the summer, Mr. Reagan had a clear lead, peaking around 25 points in polls conducted immediately after the Republican convention in Detroit. Then, Mr. Carter rebounded, with polls conducted in late October showing him behind Mr. Reagan by only a point or two on average. Mr. Reagan considerably beat his polls on Election Day, however, and won in a landslide."

    So to the "man" who so eloquently stated earlier today here, "Reagan was down 6 to 9 points to Carter on Election Night and still won".

    You lie like your name is RYAN.

    September 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. FORWARD 2012 !!!

    I wanna echo the first poster's message. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY POLLS !!!

    Yes, this is good for those of us who believe this country is better of with the "we're all in this together" philosophy than "you're on your own". But whatever you do, do not let up just because polls look good.

    So my fellow Democrats, Independents and old-school Republicans who still believe in this very basic idea, an idea we need to implement now more than ever - full speed ahead until November 6, 2012.

    FORWARD 2012 !!!

    September 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. moi

    i hope the world explodes first

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. mikle

    Everything in life temporally.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Debby

    So lets see among 2000. voters Obama is up 6 points. CNN never mentions what party these voters are just likely voters. Strange.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. omgamike

    What has become increasingly evident is that the more Americans learn about Mr. Romney, the less they like him. Poll numbers are beginning to reflect this. But people should not rely only on CNN or FOX polls only. A study of a bunch of other polls reveals that the President's support is much deeper than many would have you realize. I recommend visiting and looking at their analysis. This site has high marks for the accuracy of their polling and predictions - and is totally nonpartisan.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. DavidE7

    Remember, the horses must remain close enough to each other as they come down the stretch that all the people in the stands will be fixed on the race. Why they are running and what they stand for is, of course, totally irrelevant. The thing is to keep us focused on the media.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. WWC

    ...and CNN puts this at the top of the page... highlighted, as if they cannot control their joy. Bottom line, poll or no poll, it will be a Reaganesque blowout in November.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Todd in DC

    With the economy still in the douldrums, you'd think this election would be the GOP's to lose. The fact is that the GOP had to cater to it's most extreme wing just to get a candidate who hates gays, hates women, hates paying taxes (or showing what he paid), loves hiding his money in offshore accounts, and hates medical care for all and this is the message that is supposed to get democrats and independents to vote republican?

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. TheTraveler

    I'd give the folks who organized the DNC some credit as it was actually a pretty good show. Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Liz Warren kudos for some uplifting discourse, and President Obama said what was needed to be said.

    But we must not fail to thank one other person, Mitt Romney, for the widening point gap.

    Mitt Romney is hurting his poll numbers every time he opens his mouth. No plans, no details, no substance. No tax returns, too rich and too "out of contact" with the Middle Class. Add to that he's chosen Paul Rand, er, Ryan who has been shown to have zero hesitation to tell "half-truths and false assertions" and no small wonder President Obama is gaining in the polls.

    Romney is hoisting himself on his own petard. Thank you Mitt.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. mturn1

    Between the two Candidates Obama is the better choice for President. Mitt Romney has too many issues; Changes positions too often and comes across as someone you can't trust.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. serdich

    Yes no one left behind:: OBAMA 2012

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Mark

    Romney must know the American people will not be fooled again by big ads by the billionaires and K. Rove. NO they fooled the people when Bush ran for office and look what we got. Thrown to the trash.
    Now Romney and Ryan, using Bush advisors, are not giving out any information, NOTHING. They are silent, hoping they can fool the voters again. Only the Tea Party and conservatives will vote for them, being puppets to the Republicans.

    September 10, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. libbie_press

    ......with a sample comprised of 72% democratic voters and 28% republican

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. arnold fudpucker

    If obama is up by six point then the USA is going down by six or more.

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. tdiamond

    No independent voters in this poll and a 6% skew toward the democrats. This is a sad attempt to push a narrative that Obama got a bump after the convention and that people do not care that 4 people quit looking for a job for every one person that got a job in August.

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. cnnife

    Wondering who these 46% were. How can a stagering 46% plan to vote for a man who has been consistent in one thing and one thing only, trailing behind Obama despite the millions of $ add against the president.

    September 10, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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