With a slight bounce coming out of last week's Democratic convention, President Obama now leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 6 percentage points among likely voters, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released late Monday. The results suggest that some Obama supporters are more excited about voting in the wake of the convention.
Obama and Vice President Biden lead Romney and Paul Ryan, 52 percent to 46 percent. Three percent of likely voters prefer another candidate or are undecided. Obama’s lead in the CNN/ORC poll is similar to his 5-point advantage in the latest Gallup tracking poll.
The poll shows a larger bump for Obama than for Romney after the candidates' back-to-back conventions. Prior to the conventions, Obama led by two points, 49 percent to 47 percent. Last week, between both conventions, the two were tied at 48 percent apiece.
But the poll shows little bump among the wider universe of all registered voters, not just those who say they are likely to vote. Obama leads among all voters, 53 percent to 45 percent, a tally virtually equal to his 7-point lead with that pool of voters last week.
Obama's increasing advantage among likely voters relative to the results among all voters suggests that more of his supporters are saying that they will cast ballots in the general election. In fact, 59 percent of registered Democratic voters say they are "extremely" or "very" enthusiastic about voting, larger than the 57 percent of registered Republicans who describe themselves the same way.
But, as Romney pollster Neil Newhouse noted in a memo Monday, such post-convention bounces can be fleeting. For instance, 62 percent of Republicans last week said they were "extremely" or "very" enthusiastic.
Romney actually leads in the poll among independent voters by 14 points, 54 percent to 40 percent. He led by 10 points among this group last week.
The greatest movement in the poll was among men. Obama now holds an insignificant, 1-point lead among male voters, 48 percent to 47 percent. But last week, men sided with Romney, 55 percent to 43 percent. Obama maintains an 11-point lead among women, compared to a 12-point advantage last week.
Obama has also improved -- and Romney has slipped -- on other measures. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters say they have a favorable opinion of Obama, up from 51 percent last week. Romney's favorability rating among likely voters slipped significantly, from 53 percent last week, to 48 percent now.
Asked which candidate would better handle the economy, likely voters are now split, 50 percent for Obama and 49 percent for Romney. Romney held a 6-point advantage on that question last week.
Obama has increased his advantages on other issues, leading Romney by 12 points on foreign policy (up 3 points from last week), 11 points on Medicare (up 3 points) and 9 points on health care (up 1 point). Romney still has a slight, 5-point lead on handling the federal budget deficit, but that advantate has been cut in half over the past week.
Last week, likely voters were slightly more likely to say that Romney is better described as "a strong and decisive leader," but that measure has reversed over the past week, going from 48 percent to 43 percent in Romney's advantage, to 50 percent to 44 percent in Obama's advantage. By a 10-point margin, likely voters also now say that Obama has the more optimistic vision for the country's future, a 14-point turnaround from last week, right after the Republican convention.
Among all voters, the Democratic convention made a more positive impression than the previous week's Republican confab: Forty-six percent said the Democratic gathering in Charlotte made them more likely to vote for Obama, while 36 percent said what they read or heard about it made them less likely to vote for him. Last week, the numbers for Romney and the GOP convention in Tampa were inverted: Forty-six percent said it made them less likely to support the former Massachusetts governor.
The CNN/ORC International poll was conducted Sept. 7-9, following the conclusion of the Democratic convention and the release of the August unemployment surveys. The poll surveyed 875 registered voters -- including 709 likely voters -- and carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.