The new CNN poll will turn a lot of heads, because it finds Obama up six points over Mitt Romney, 52-46, among likely voters, a sample that’s supposed to be more favorable to Republicans. That’s up from a 48-48 tie just before the convention. What’s more, the poll was taken Sept. 7-9, which means two of the three days of polling were conducted after Friday, the day the weak jobs numbers came out.
The CNN poll mirrors Gallup’s findings: Romney is only leading among white voters by 55-42; Romney may need to crack 60 percent among them to win, while Obama’s target is 40 percent. Romney does hold a sizable lead among independents, 54-40.
A few other key findings. The poll finds that Obama has taken a tiny lead over Romney among likely voters, 50-49, on who would better handle the economy. While that is a statistical tie, Romney led Obama on this question in previous CNN polling.
On Medicare, Obama is more trusted than Romney among likely voters by 54-43. That’s another jump; previous CNN polling showed it far closer. Bill Clinton’s speech, of course, focused heavily on debunking Romney’s core attack line that Obama is looting Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and on emphasizing that Obama and Dems strengthened the program.
Obama holds a clear lead, 51-41, on who “has an optimistic vision for the country’s future,” and a sizable edge, 45-39, on who “has a clear plan for solving the country’s problems” — both shifts from the last CNN poll, which showed Romney had an edge on both. Both parties, of course, focused their conventions on making the case that their candidate was the one with the clearer affirmative case for where to take the country.
On which candidate is in touch with the problems facing the middle class, Obama leads by 57-37. On which is in touch with the problems facing women, that’s 59-34. These topics, too, were focused on by both conventions.
As many have been pointing out today (see Jonathan Bernstein for a good look at this), polling in the immediate wake of conventions is volatile and we may not have a clear sense of where things really are until next week. But for now, the evidence seems to be mounting that the Dem convention is producing a real bounce and was more successful than the GOP gathering at accomplishing its core goals.