Mitt Romney may have gotten one of the shortest post-debate bounces in history as swing state and national polls reveal Obama in the lead.
The big confusion today has been over the Gallup daily tracking poll. On Monday morning, the Gallup daily tracking poll had the race tied at 47%-47%, but by Monday afternoon, the poll was updated to show President Obama leading 50%-45%.
So, what gives?
It turns out that Gallup broke with their own tradition, and changed their methodology. Instead of using a 7 day rolling average, they compared two sets of three day averages. Monday afternoon’s update included Saturday and Sunday polling. When they returned to the 7 day average, and included polling after the new jobs numbers were released, President Obama returned to a 50%-45% lead.
More data is needed, but it seems that Mitt Romney got roughly a one day bounce from the debate. The combination of Romney being called out across all media for his barrage of lies along with the vastly improved unemployment rate worked together to virtually neutralize any bounce that Romney had gained from Wednesday night.
The latest swing state polls are coming in, and it looks like the Romney bounce is also fading at the state level. The latest polling of Colorado shows Obama leading Romney 47%-43%, and in Virginia, the president leads 50%-47%. Even conservative pollster Rasmussen has Obama leading in Colorado and Iowa. Rasmussen polls are frequently cited by conservatives and Fox News, but they have been found to have a 4 point bias towards Republicans. So when Rasmussen claims Obama is up by one (Colorado) or two (Iowa) the potential Obama lead could be closer to 5 or 6 points.
This election did get closer after the debate, mostly because Republicans have been energized by Romney’s debate performance, but recent polling suggests that the new jobs/unemployment numbers crushed any potential for the results of the first debate to be a game changer.
The initial panic by Democrats and claims of momentum by Republicans after the first debate were both premature. The dynamics of this presidential election remain in about the same place where they have been for months. Obama is leading, but it is competitive.
Romney didn’t score a debate knockout, and if this election stays on its established trajectory, President Obama will be in position to win a second term.
However, the winner of this election will likely be determined by which campaign is more successful in turning out their supporters to vote.