President Barack Obama emerged from the Democratic National Convention with a six-percentage-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among likely voters, according to a CNN poll.
Obama and Romney had been tied after the Republican National Convention held a week earlier.
The poll, taken Sept. 7-9, after the Democratic gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, showed Obama with a traditional post-convention bounce. He led Romney 52 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. A survey taken Aug. 31-Sept. 3, following the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, found Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent.
The findings are similar to a Sept. 3-9 Gallup tracking poll that put Obama ahead of Romney 49 percent to 44 percent. It was the incumbent’s biggest lead in that survey since April 20-26, when Obama led 50 percent to 43 percent. Romney held a five-point lead, 48 percent to 43 percent, during the poll taken April 14-18.
Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, in a memo released today by the campaign, called the current Obama lead “a bit of a sugar high” and said “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,” Newhouse said.
In the CNN poll, Obama led 55 percent to 44 percent among women voters and 48 percent to 47 percent among men.
Obama’s favorable rating climbed to 57 percent in the new survey from 51 percent after the Republican convention. Romney’s favorability dropped to 48 percent now from 53 percent after the Republican convention.
By 50 percent to 49 percent, likely voters said Obama rather than Romney would do a better job handling the economy, reversing Romney’s 51 percent to 45 percent advantage after the Republican convention. Obama was rated as handling Medicare better by 54 percent to 43 percent, up from 49 percent to 46 percent after the Republican convention.
The latest poll found that 59 percent of registered Democratic voters were enthusiastic about voting in November, up from a low of 40 percent in September 2010. Among registered Republicans, 57 percent were enthusiastic about going to the polls, down from 62 percent a week earlier after their party’s convention.
The CNN-ORC International poll of 709 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Separately, a poll released today by the Pew Research Center found former President Bill Clinton’s address was the highlight of the Democratic National Convention, overshadowing Obama’s speech accepting the presidential nomination.
Pew reported that 29 percent of adults who watched the convention named Clinton’s address as the highlight, compared with 16 percent who picked Obama’s speech and 15 percent who cited first lady Michelle Obama’s remarks to the delegates.
A Pew poll last week found that the highlight of the Republican convention was actor Clint Eastwood’s “dialogue” with an empty chair, followed by Romney’s acceptance speech.
Four years ago in Denver, as Obama became the first black candidate nominated for president by a major political party, his acceptance address was named the convention highlight by 38 percent.
At the Republican convention in 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota, half of the respondents chose as the highlight the speech by vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the first woman on the Republican national ticket. Seventeen percent selected presidential nominee John McCain’s speech.
Obama’s acceptance speech was viewed favorably by 60 percent by those who watched it compared with 53 percent of those who tuned in to see Romney, according to the Pew poll.
And Obama’s speech reached more people; 43 percent said they watched some or all of the Democratic convention last week, compared with 38 percent who saw some or all of the Republican gathering. Four years ago, 46 percent of adults watched all or some of the Democratic convention and 56 percent saw all or some of the Republican event.
Both nominees got boosts from the convention, with 25 percent saying their opinion of Romney was more favorable following the Republican gathering and 26 percent saying their opinion of Obama was more favorable after the Democratic convention.
Pew’s survey of 1,012 adults was conducted Sept. 7-9, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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