If there’s good news for Mitt Romney in the new CNN poll, it’s hiding well.
According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday, 52% of registered 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%.
But what has to be frustrating for Republicans isn’t just the top-line results, it’s everything else. In the wake of both major-party conventions, Democratic enthusiasm is up; confidence in Obama’s economic leadership is up; and the favorability ratings for Romney and the Republican Party are down.
Indeed, perhaps the most striking thing about the poll results is that Romney was better liked by Americans before the conventions, while Obama’s favorability is at its highest level in nearly two years. And when it comes to which candidate voters trust more when it comes to 17 issues and personal qualities, the president leads Romney in 16 of them, most by large margins (the exception is deficit reduction, on which Romney has a modest three-point lead).
Of course, CNN’s new poll isn’t the only survey. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll should temper Democratic optimism a bit – Obama’s lead is only one point, 49% to 48%, among likely voters – though even here, the same pollster found the president with a significant advantage in the eight battleground states, leading by 14 points among registered voters.
There are still eight weeks and four debates remaining, and there have been instances in which candidates have been in the lead at this point in the race but gone on to lose. But as the post-convention phase gets underway, there’s a reason Democrats seem to be walking with a spring in their step.