CNN Poll: Obama, Romney Tied Heading Into DNC

Kyle Leighton
TPMSeptember 4, 2012

President Obama and Mitt Romney are locked in a dead heat, according to a new national poll.

Both are locked at 48 percent, according to a CNN poll released Tuesday. That gives Romney a 1-percent bump from a little more than a week ago, when Obama led 49 percent to 47 percent.

"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 told "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."

The PollTracker Average of all public surveys shows President Obama with a small 0.4 percent lead over Romney, 47.3 percent to 46.9 percent.

Halfway through convention season, Republicans have a slight edge on enthusiasm after holding theirs in Tampa, Fla. -- 62 percent of the GOP faithful say they are either "extremely" or "very" enthusiastic to vote in November, while 56 percent of Democrats say the same.

The Republican National Convention seems to have bolstered Romney in a few areas in addition to juicing up his party. He's now viewed more positively overall, a trend that as appeared elsewhere, with 53 percent of likely voters having a favorable view of him and only 43 percent having an unfavorable one. That outpaces President Obama on the favorability scale (51 percent favorable to 48 percent unfavorable) for the first time since January in CNN polling. Romney also moved past the president on who is seen as the stronger leader, a metric that Obama has long held the lead on.

The poll also indicates that different voting blocs are shifting slightly. From CNN:

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.

The CNN poll used 1,005 interviews with Americans conducted by live telephone interviews (753 by landline and 252 via cell phone) conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. That large sample was whittled down to 735 interviews among likely voters, which had a sampling error of 3.5 percent.