At mid-afternoon, there are not a lot of fresh poll numbers to ponder.
The only stuff of any significance I’ve seen today is the RealClearPolitics roundup of new polls in various states. They show the President Obama and Mitt Romney virtually tied in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Nevada. But some of those findings come from Rasmussen, whose polls I don’t trust for reasons I’ve stated here on previous occasions.
The latest from Pennysylvania indicates a five-point lead for Obama, and he’s supposedly ahead by 11 points in New Mexico.
Regarding the broader picture, Nate Cohn of The New Republic had THIS to say late last night:
Debates don’t tend to fundamentally reshape presidential elections, but there’s a chance that Romney’s historic performance might prove to be an exception. While it’s still early to judge the exact size and duration of Romney’s bounce, it has already given him his first lead in the national polls. As of last night, every post-debate national poll either shows a tied race or a slight Romney advantage, with Romney averaging a 1.4-point lead among likely voters.
But while there are not yet enough state polls to confidently judge whether Romney’s bounce cascaded across the electoral map, there are signs that Obama has fared slightly better in the battleground states than he has nationally. An equal number of battleground state polls show Obama or Romney ahead, even though Obama starts with more electoral votes and the majority of polls were conducted by firms typically producing Republican-leaning results (WAA, ARG, Rasmussen, and Gravis).
Meanwhile, Nate Silver says THIS:
Following another day of strong polling on Tuesday, Mitt Romney advanced into the best position in the FiveThirtyEight forecast since the party conventions. His chances of winning the Electoral College are now 28.8 percent in the forecast, his highest since Aug. 29. For the first time since Aug. 28, President Obama is projected to win fewer than 300 electoral votes. And Mr. Obama’s projected margin of victory in the national popular vote — 2.0 percentage points — represents the closest the race has been since June 27.
The forecast model is not quite ready to jump on board with the notion that the race has become a literal toss-up; Mr. Romney will need to maintain his bounce for a few more days, or extend it into high-quality polls of swing states, before we can be surer about that.
But we are ready to conclude that one night in Denver undid most of the advantage Mr. Obama had appeared to gain in September.
So far, the evidence that Mr. Romney’s debate bounce is receding is a bit anecdotal. Indeed, this case seemed a bit clearer a couple of days ago. But it is a plausible hypothesis; a fresh round of swing state polling could help to settle the question.
UPDATE: The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll is out with new numbers this afternoon.
The three-day rolling average on Obama’s job-approval rating (53 percent), 11 points higher than his disapproval rating (42 percent), is unchanged from yesterday.
But there’s been some movement in the seven-day rolling average on the presidential contest. It shows Obama leading by five points (50-45) among registered voters, while the race is tied at 48 points among likely voters. In both those categories, Obama is up one point and Romney down one point.