Obama scored one of his best swing state polling days in weeks today, probably his best since prior to the first debate. We continue to see signs of a post-debate Obama bounce, particularly in today's state polls. The numbers are below, followed by my analysis.
* VIRGINIA: Obama 51%, Romney 46% -- Obama +2% since 1 week ago (Public Policy)
* VIRGINIA: Romney 50%, Obama 48% -- Obama +1% since 1 week ago (Rasmussen)
* WISCONSIN: Obama 51%, Romney 45% -- Obama +4% since 2 weeks ago (Public Policy)
* IOWA: Obama 50%, Romney 48% -- Obama +3% since 1 week ago (Public Policy)
* FLORIDA: Obama 47%, Romney 45% -- Romney +1% since 1 week ago (Grove)
* FLORIDA: Romney 50%, Obama 49% -- No change since 2 weeks ago (Gravis)
* NORTH CAROLINA: Obama 48%, Romney 48% -- Obama +2% since 2 weeks ago (Public Policy)
* NEVADA: -- Obama 50%, Romney 47% -- Obama +1% since 1 month ago (NBC/WSJ)
* COLORADO: Obama 48%, Romney 48% -- Romney +5% since 1 month ago (NBC/WSJ)
* COLORADO: Obama 51%, Romney 47% -- Obama +1% since last week (Public Policy)
* COLORADO: Obama 46%, Romney 43% -- No change since 1 week ago (Grove)
* COLORADO: Obama 48%, Romney 45% -- No previous poll (OnSight)
* NATIONAL: Obama 50%, Romney 45% -- Obama +1% since yesterday | Obama +3% since Wednesday (RAND)
* NATIONAL: Obama 47%, Romney 45% -- Romney +1% since yesterday | No change since Wednesday (IBD/TIPP)
* NATIONAL: Obama 48%, Romney 47% -- No change since yesterday | Obama +2% since Wednesday (Gallup RV)
* NATIONAL: Obama 49%, Romney 48% -- Obama +1% since yesterday | Obama +3% since Wednesday(Public Policy)
* NATIONAL: Romney 47%, Obama 46% -- No change since yesterday | Romney +2% since Wednesday (Reuters)
* NATIONAL: Romney 49%, Obama 48% -- Romney +2% since yesterday | Romney +2% since Wednesday (ABC/Washington Post)
* NATIONAL: Romney 50%, Obama 47% -- No change since yesterday | Obama +2% since Wednesday (Gallup LV)
* NATIONAL: Romney 50%, Obama 47% -- Obama +1% since yesterday | Obama +1% since Wednesday (Rasmussen)
* OVERALL AVERAGE OBAMA TRACKING POLL BOUNCE SINCE DEBATE: +.875%
With two full days of post-debate surveys now in the daily trackers, Obama stands at an average .875% bounce so far. Most trackers use three days of samples, so tomorrow will drop out the final pre-debate day and add in a third post-debate day. Gallup uses a seven day sample, so its results are a lot harder to read. It's also important to note that Obama has now regained the lead in the national poll average -- his lead is 0.9%.
But it's not the national polls that are worth talking about much today, it's the state polls. We got a whopping 12 new swing state polls today and taken as a whole, they represent the best batch of state polls we've seen for Obama in weeks. Of the 11 polls where we can compare trends to previous polls, Obama gained in seven of them, Romney in two, and two were unchanged. Colorado, Florida, and Virginia, all of which looked to be leaning to Romney last week, now seem to be much murkier. Obama has actually taken the lead now in the polling averages of all three states (CO: O +1.9%; VA: O +0.6%; FL: O +0.9%). Even the North Carolina poll today showed movement back to Obama. I remain bearish on the prospects of Obama winning NC, but the early voting numbers there coupled with the fact that they have increased ad spending there, seems to indicate that the campaign still believes it has a chance to win it.
But beyond the apparent gains in CO, VA, and FL, the most important thing here is the continued strength of Obama's firewall states -- Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Iowa. The new Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nevada polls today all showed Obama adding to his leads, and yesterday's TIME poll of Ohio showed him up 5% there. The polling averages have him up by 2.6% in Ohio, 1.2% in Iowa, 3.6% in Nevada, and 2.8% in Wisconsin.
When we look at the electoral college map, Obama is starting to form a solid base at 281 (that would involve him winning OH, WI, IA, and NV). Today's positive polling puts Virginia, Florida, and Colorado into the toss-up categories, with North Carolina continuing to lean to Romney. The electoral math here becomes very difficult for Romney because he still has to find a way to break that Obama firewall -- either turning Ohio or Wisconsin -- if he has any real shot at getting to 270.
So while we remain in a virtual tie in the national race, Obama seems to be fortifying his positions in the key swing states and remains in a very advantageous position in the electoral college.
It's pretty clear right now that the momentum in this election is with Obama. For the two weeks that followed the first debate, it was obvious that Romney had all the momentum. The polls showed it, the tone of the campaigns showed it, the media coverage showed it. Sure, Obama supporters tried their best to point to a daily tracking poll here or a state poll there that gave them hope that the momentum wasn't with Romney, but it was. You could feel it. Right now, you get that same feeling. Sure, Romney supporters can point to the ABC/Washington Post daily tracker and ignore everything else, but the polling, along with the tones of the campaigns, the Mourdock situation, etc. all lend to a feeling that momentum is now back with Obama. Whichever side is pointing to one poll while ignoring 15 others is the side that doesn't have the momentum.
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