The Corner

Friday Polling: National Race Tightens as Romney Gains in Battlegrounds

Today has a mixed bag of polling for Romney, but the new state polls today are looking better for him, even after the second debate..

National tracking polls show movement to Obama, but there are some caveats about them. The Rasmussen poll moved to a tie, at 48 percent each, but Scott Rasmussen noted, “In the two nights of polling conducted since the debate, Romney has a slight advantage.” Romney dropped one point in Gallup, to a 51–45 lead among likely voters, but notable is that the president’s three-day approval among all adults dropped from 50–44 to 50–46. That would indicate yesterday was not a great Obama day, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to draw a direct correlation.

In state polls, Romney has had a much better day in polling (all of these polls were conducted after the second debate):

Florida: Two new Florida polls today from Rasmussen and CNN. Rasmussen has Romney inching to a five-point lead, 51–46. Romney’s favorable rating is now 54–45 and he leads on the economy by eight, foreign policy by seven, and he’s up 13 among independents. CNN’s poll has Romney up by just one point, 49–48, but that is a five-point improvement for Romney since their last Florida poll.

Virginia: Rasmussen has Romney gaining a point from last week to lead by three, 50–47. Romney’s favorable rating there is now 52–48 and he leads on the economy by five, trails on foreign policy by one, and is up four among independents.

Wisconsin: Rasmussen has Romney still down two to Obama, 50–48. Obama leads with independents, but Romney is up on the economy by five. This is a state where Romney is closing in, but he still hasn’t been able to break through with a lead since the Paul Ryan announcement in August.

Iowa: Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a post-debate poll with Romney up one, 49–48. This is an eight-point swing since their poll just after the DNC. Romney’s favorability has improved 16 points since their previous poll, and he leads on the economy by four.

New Hampshire: PPP also has Romney up by one, 49–48. This is a seven-point swing since their previous poll, and Romney has gained ten points in favorability since August. Romney leads on the economy by seven points.

One notable comment from PPP, based on their state polls: “Democrats need to accept debate this week was not a big game changer.”

Overall, that comment and Rasmussen’s seem to indicate that, at least for now, there is not going to be an obvious bounce for Obama from the second debate. What remains to be seen is whether Obama’s performance slows down the momentum that Romney received in the two weeks leading up to it, or if the underlying trajectory in Romney’s direction remains.

— Josh Jordan is a small-business market-research consultant. You can follow him on Twitter @Numbersmuncher.

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