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. Four romney

    I am registered independent and have voted for both parties. I will vote for Obama this election. I tried as hard as I could to be open minded but I have no idea what Romney stands for. It appears to me that plenty of other people feel the same. Hence the huge change in the polls.

    September 10, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Walt

    Romney is too extreme for America. The last thing we need is Bush III.

    September 10, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. One

    very pleasing 🙂

    September 10, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Critical Thinking

    It's sad really that Dems are more interested in keeping President Incomplete in office than actually trying to fix this country. We are at a tipping point and this adminstration will push this country over that edge, but that is what the plan was from the begining. So all you mindless sheep that follow this guy keep your whining down when you get what you want. Elections have consequences.

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Hispanic

    So sad to see how many have bought into his lies. I am Hispanic and for me is a shame that he didn't do anything sincerely for immigration, until it was time to buy the vote!!! Come on people......WAKE UP!!! He gave 2 more years to those that would have been deported, and then what????

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Patriot Awesome

    Obama's lead will open up further after the debates. Romney has flip flopped and pandered so much to his crazy base, that he won't be able to keep his answers straight.

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. mattinacan

    this isn't just a CNN Poll, this is Gallup, Rasmussen, all saying the same thing. the fivethirtyeight has Obama at an 80% chance of winning

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Crantson S. from Phoenix

    Bad news for American and the world.

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. California Gary

    6 points huh.....hows that for a little "sugar" Mitt? You didn't get a bump after your little "dog and pony" show......Obama got a pretty good bump after his........gosh, I wonder what that might mean? Better come up with something new to say at the debates, or you are toast Mitt. Can you say landslide?

    September 10, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. gmenfan54

    Am I the only one that figured out this election is over?

    September 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Tim Rigney

    Can you say "non-information?" 😉 There's always a temporary bump in the convention from the polls, at least. Plus, it doesn't take into consideration specifically the swing states, which are *all* that matters. Ohio, Florida, Virginia.
    Then on to the Supreme Court to argue over who actually won.

    September 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. John

    I would like to see how thees numbers brake down by party affiliation. I highly doubt that it was an even split of 50/50 democrat republican. I wish they would show this kind of data as the poll would be more transparent.

    September 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Jim

    Not that I'm upset about a six-point popular vote lead, but as we learned in 2000, the popular vote doesn't mean anything. Fortunately, he also has a solid lead in every electoral map (including CNN's) that I've been checking over the last month.

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. I'm so happy

    Obviously the American people know when they're being lied to by the GOP money machine.

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Joan in MS

    President Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time! Truly a backbone of STEEL!

    Bin Laden is Dead, GM is alive!!

    Go Obama!!

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Syd

    Ok, why is it that republicans are happy when their guy is up (which was a long time ago), and then when polls show obama up, they complain. This is a poll of LIKEY VOTERS, which generaly skew to Republicans, and obama is up. DEAL WITH IT. Obama/Biden 2012

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. gb333

    I lean left socially, right fiscally, I'm a pro lifer and anti-war guy.

    What I really got from Romney from the RNC, is that the dude if fake. He has no idea what it is like to be a normal American. He tried hard to relate to us, but he to me looked like a used car salesman.

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. BLKMANinAmerica

    "..........the two conventions was that Obama seemed to come out as the candidate with a more specific plan to help the country." How about the American public isn't as STUPID as the repuks would hope them to be. The triflin repuks didn't, haven't giving any specifics on how they will help middle America.........................guess what repuks President Obama does have a plan to HELP middle America. Obama/Biden 2012 and really America needs to remove all the repuks from Congress so WORK can get done to help our country.

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Andy

    2% of Romney supporters switched to Obama, and an additional 2% undecided are now supporting Obama. Wait for the debates...the better speaker with greater experience as President is going to take points for his oratory and vision and debating skills. That will give another 2% lead, at the very least.

    At a high-level, this election is a done deal. The difficult part now is to get the voters out on Election Day, especially the Democratic supporters.

    September 10, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. us_1776

    And today the Congress does 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 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. phactchecker

    for all the haters here talking about how could this be.. Please recant the last year .. this is what happens when you try to tell people how to live. Its a good thing at leat 52% of the country has not forgotten what the republican did between 2000 and 2008

    September 10, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. John Steel

    Very questionable poll from the Obama's personal news network. I don't see a convention that was watched by only 20 million – doubtless already die hard supporters – making a difference in overall support. Most folks I know, including those like me who voted for Barack in 2008, are not going to reward his incompetence with a second term.

    September 10, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Surfer George

    Looks like Romney is getting exactly what he has earned – outsourced by Obama.

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. unknown11

    Vote Democrat. Make the whole country just like Chicago and Illinois. Who wouldn't want that?

    September 10, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Captain Obvious

    Hilarious wishful thinking. Lets put money on it.

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