Polls indicate that Romney did see a solid boost from his consensus total domination debate victory over President Obama last week. The right-leaning Rasmussen polls is now showing Romney ahead of Obama. Gallup shows a statistical dead heat. Either way, it is clear that Romney holds the momentum … for now.
The Republican was looking for a slam dunk in the first presidential debate, and he seems to have gotten it. Many agree that Obama looked stale, rusty, cold, uninterested, short, and/or bored. Now Romney is surging.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 47%, 2% prefer some other candidate, and just 2% are undecided.
Wowza, this race is getting close.
These results are based upon nightly interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, the weekend update is the first based entirely upon complete interviews conducted after the first presidential debate last Wednesday night.
On the Gallup side, Obama has lost ground in the polls (-1) and is seeing his approval rating fall, even after Friday's better-than-expected-jobs numbers.
Still, the numbers reflect quite a debate bounce for Romney. Heading into Wednesday’s showdown, it was the president who enjoyed a two-point advantage. Sunday is the first time Romney has been ahead by even a single point since mid-September (See daily tracking history). As with all bounces, it remains to be seen whether it is a temporary blip or signals a lasting change in the race.
Obama will likely bring the hammer in coming days: both in terms of rhetoric fire (his campaign has shifted into a strategy of painting Romney in “lies all lies” terms) and in ca$h money.
This polling data comes as Obama notched record fundraising levels last month: 1,825,813 people came together to raise $181 million for this campaign [Obama + DNC] in September [the biggest month for a campaign this cycle, but shy of the $193 million one-month record, set by Obama + DNC in Sept. '08]. ... Of the 1,825,813 people who donated in September, 567,000 were new to this organization-not having given before in 2008 or 2012. ... 98% of September's contributions were $250 or less, with an average contribution of $53. ... Since this campaign launched in April 2011, a total of 3,922,420 people have pitched in." Romney has not released September totals.
Still, the president is seeing a polling dip in vital swing states.
Public Policy Polling's newest Wisconsin poll finds a big debate bump for Mitt Romney in the state. Two weeks ago he trailed Barack Obama by 7 points there, 52-45. Now he's pulled to within two points, with Obama's lead now just 49-47.
Virginia, Ohio, and Florida remain Toss-Ups in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. The Real Clear Politics Electoral map still shows an Obama advantage, though.
There also isn’t a lot of wiggle room for both candidates in terms of winning over voters: 45% of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney and not change their mind before voting. Forty-three percent are certain they will vote for Obama.
Scott Rasmussen’s weekly newspaper column notes that “incumbent presidents often struggle in the first debate and do better in the second. Ronald Reagan may be the greatest example of this.” As such, the next presidential debate at Hofstra college in New York will be critical for Obama to reassert his dominance (this Thursday is the lone vice presidential debate at Centre College in Kentucky).
How will things play out in the next four weeks leading up to the election? Unknown.
All we can say is this: Get your popcorn ready.