Daily Poll Watch: Going into second debate, Romney gaining ground in Gallup survey


Just hours before Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet in Long Island, N.Y, for the second of their presidential debates, Gallup has ENCOURAGING NEWS for the Republican nominee:

Half of likely voters now prefer Mitt Romney for president and 46% back President Barack Obama in Gallup interviewing through Monday.

While Romney’s four-percentage-point advantage is not statistically significant, he has consistently edged ahead of Obama each of the past several days in Gallup’s seven-day rolling averages conducted entirely after the Oct. 3 presidential debate. Prior to that debate — regarded as a decisive Romney win by political experts and Americans who watched it — Romney averaged less than a one-point lead over Obama among likely voters.

The latest result, from Oct. 9-15, is based on 2,723 likely voters drawn from more than 3,100 registered voters.

The effect of the Denver debate on voter preferences is also seen in the trend among registered voters. Prior to the debate, in late September/early October, Obama generally led Romney by five or six points among registered voters. Since the debate, the margin has been three points or less.

Steve Lombardo of Huffpost Pollster has THIS to say:

Any serious observer of the presidential election has to be scratching his/her head. In mid-September Obama was on track for reelection because Romney, at that point, had been deemed unacceptable by a vast segment of the electorate. Now, in mid-October, the President is dazed, staggered by a near knockout in the first debate and a subsequent Romney surge that seems to have the Governor on a winning trajectory. The problem is that neither scenario accounts for unplanned events. No one anticipated what happened in the first debate (a huge Romney performance and a terrible one from the president), but it did and it has changed things considerably. This election is roughly back to where it was in May of this year before Team Obama decimated Romney with negative ads. With 21 days to go, this race is essentially tied.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the debate two weeks ago shifted the course of this election dramatically. As we noted, the race began to show a natural tightening — as you would expect — about 30 days ago, but this accelerated after the October 3rd debate. That night, nearly 70 million viewers watched both candidates debate. The following week — and its avalanche of negative reviews — was devastating for the president. Even the positive jobs report did little to stop the bleeding. Below is our election trend line; it speaks for itself. There has been a significant change to the trend following the first presidential debate, and the VP debate did nothing to change its trajectory (it’s entirely possible that tonight’s debate, of course, could alter the current trend).



  1. “There has been a significant change to the trend following the first presidential debate, and the VP debate did nothing to change its trajectory (it’s entirely possible that tonight’s debate, of course, could alter the current trend).”

    And I could have sworn that Biden was touted as having won that debate. Smilin’ Joe was apparently wrong on one of his most strident and emphatic statements of that night as well. I think the State Department better bring ole’ Joe up to speed if they are going to keep letting him speak in public.


    Despite statements by Vice President Joe Biden, the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, a top State Department official said Tuesday.

    Last week, U.S. and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul to talk about the Bilateral Security Agreement that will govern the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, when President Barack Obama said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end and the U.S. will complete the transition of the entire country to Afghan government control.

    Also last week, Biden told Americans during his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.

    “We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion,” Biden said. “We’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”

    Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, explained today that’s not the whole story.

    Grossman said Tuesday that the point of the upcoming negotiations is to agree on an extension of the U.S. troop presence well past 2014, for the purposes of conducting counterterrorism operations and training and advising the Afghan security forces.

  2. Poor doc: His grasp of polls is no better than his understanding of politics in general.

    He just can’t understand how it can be said that Joe Biden got the better of Paul Ryan in their debate without it having been reflected the following week in polls regarding the presidential race in general.

    I’m not going to bother explaining the matter to him. It would no good anyway. He’ll never realize that presidential polls aren’t always moved to any significant extent by debates involving running mates.

    Imagine how confused he was when the Republican presidential ticket widened its lead in the Gallup poll a week after Lloyd Bentsen mopped the floor with Dan Quayle in their debate. Every poll saw Bentsen as the winner. But it didn’t move the needle much or for very long.

    But then, that was 24 years ago. doc probably has no memory of that stuff.

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