After Gov. Mitt Romney’s strong performance in the First Presidential debate last week, he has dramatically reversed his polling deficit he had experienced during the month of September.
National polls across the spectrum and across multiple polling and media outlets have confirmed a Romney bump of around five points. This brings the race to a statistical tie, with just 27 days remaining until Election Day. Gallup put the race at 47-47%.
The state-by state polls contain even more good news for Team Romney. Before the debate, Romney was put in the position of needing to win four states to get to 270: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire. After the debate, once Obama leaning states have moved to “toss up” status. New Hampshire and Ohio being the most important changes. Also, once Obama leaners Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are now toss-ups. Essentially Romney’s debate performance has successfully expanded the board of states being contested. This forces the Obama campaign to spend time and money in these states to make sure they stay in their column.
Of course, if one debate can cause this dramatic a change, so too can the second debate change back. If President Obama’s performance improves, he may regain his edge in the vital voters categories of trust. After the debate, Romney gained major support for those who are looking for the candidate they most trust to handle the economy. Romney’s personal favorable ratings improved as well after the debate. This may take a hit if Obama brings up his comments about “the 47%” or his record at Bain Capital.
The bottom line is that this race is now a pure toss-up thanks to one debate. Another may decide who gets an edge going forward. One thing is certain, the debates do indeed play a major role in the American people’s impression of the two men seeking the Oval Office.