Scott Rasmussen’s 10/6/12 daily tracking poll puts Mitt Romney 2-points ahead of Barack Obama, 49% to 47%, for the first time since early September. Significantly, Rasmussen notes “only about two-thirds of the interviews for today’s update were conductedafter the presidential debate. Sunday morning’s update will be the first national polling based entirely upon post-debate interviews.” In other words, Mitt could actually gain a couple more points nationally in tomorrow morning’s results.
Granted, the national polls had been tightening even before this past week’s Denver, Colorado debate. Now the state polls are moving, too, with the latest two polls out of Colorado showing Mitt Romney in a leading position, and other surveys showing Mitt leading in Florida, Virginia and yes, Ohio. Virtually every other key battleground is moving back to a tied position.
What exactly is going on here?
Let’s break it down…
Frankly, you shouldn’t be TOO surprised by any of this movement. Your Blogger-in-Chief and other conservative leaders, pundits and assorted experts have been saying for weeks that the polls were bunk; more precisely, that the prevailing voter turnout models were ignoring important electoral changes since 2008 (e.g. decreased net DEM voter registration in the battleground states, net higher GOP voter enthusiasm, etc. and so on).
Liberal media proclamations that this race was “over” or solidly stuck in the President’s favor were always self-interested spin, not anything firmly rooted in reality.
The rapidity with which the polls have swung took some of you off guard, but again, as we’ve been discussing over and over at Save Jersey, (1) President Obama’s support has always been “soft,” and (2) turnout models relying on ’08 or better turnout for the President are extremely unrealistic for a host of empirical/logical reasons. That means voters were open to a contrast and boy oh boy, did they ever get one on Wednesday night! So when more than 70 millions Americans tuned in and watched the Denver debate (the most since we kicked out another useless hippie, Jimmy Carter, in 1980), a huge chunk of the persuadable electorate that saw the President fall flat on his face.
And better yet, the 70 million figure doesn’t fully account for folks who’ve watched the President’s bumbling via online sources like YouTube since the debate.
All of this adds up to a 1.8% RCP national average lead for President Obama as we sit here right now, and to be clear, that average included (1) biased ’08+ model polls and (2) polls that don’t reflect the debate results. Exactly four years ago today, Obama was up on McCain by over 6-points.
But please, don’t get cocky! This race is faaaaaar from over, Save Jerseyans. There are still three more debates and countless hours of televisions ads, phone banking, and general campaign wrangling left to go over the next month before the bulk of the country votes on Election Day. Anything can happen in a month. That said, after debate numero uno, I’d much rather be in Mitt Romney’s polling position this morning than that of the President of the United States.
Americans got to see the President for what he is on the Denver stage: an arrogant, in-over-his-head amateur. It will be Mitt Romney’s challenge going forward to continue to define and solidify that contrast in voters’ minds.