Romney enjoys six—make that seven–point lead in Gallup Poll, narrows gap in “swing states”

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life Mitt Romney and Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

As we talked about Wednesday, it would take a few days to get a feel for how the second presidential debate altered the trajectory—if it did at all—of Mitt Romney’s steady climb to parity with President Obama in the swing states and lead in the overall national numbers. The news continues to be very encouraging.

Here’s how AOL headlines its story on the latest Gallup numbers: “Poll has stunning news for Romney—Dramatic Shift in Gallup’s Latest Poll.” That’s when Gallup had Romney with a six-point lead, 51% to 45%) among the most important category of likely voters.

It’s important to understand that these are what Gallup calls seven-day “rolling averages.” Thus later today when Gallup reported that the margin had jumped to seven points—52% to 45%–the real significance was not in the one point increased advantage.  Rather, as Ed Morrissey explains

“The last two days that have dropped off the report are two of the last three that were pre-VP debate.  Only the data from the day of the debate remains in the seven-day rolling average now.  The first few days of that post-VP debate tracking put Romney up only two points, but since Monday the gap has been widening.  In other words, this doesn’t appear to be a case of a really bad day for Obama dropping out of the tracking data.

“From this we can conclude that Biden didn’t help the ticket and may have hurt it with his strange, over-the-top performance.  And at least the first day of data after Tuesday’s debate suggests that Romney did better after this debate, too.  We’ll see whether that trend continues.”

Rasmussen Reports finds Romney up two points—49% to 47% with Republicans enjoying an eight point “enthusiasm” advantage. Romney leads by nine points among Independents, which in 2008 Obama won by eight points–a net difference of 17 points.

As Morrissey noted this morning 

“the gender gap now favors Romney rather than Obama.  In 2008′s exit polling, Obama won women by 13 points and men by one for a +14 gender gap over John McCain and a seven-point victory overall.  In the tracking poll data, Rasmussen reports that Obama only leads among women by four and trails among men by 10 for a -6 gender gap.  That’s a flip of 19 points, combined with a 17-point flip among independents.”

Political Scientist Larry Sabato will not yet call the pivotal state of Ohio a tossup—he continues to say it “leans Obama”—but adds today that “Ohio could still end up going either way.” (Rasmussen has Obama up 49% to 48%.)

The  Lansing State Journal [Michigan] reported Wednesday that

“A new statewide poll shows a tight race between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, as well as growing enthusiasm among Republicans for their nominee.

“Released Wednesday, the poll of 600 likely voters showed Obama leading Romney in Michigan, 44.2 percent to 40.5 percent, but Romney also within the sampling error of 4 percentage points — meaning it’s a tight race.

Scott Davis adds, “The poll was conducted by the Michigan polling firm Denno Research and commissioned by Grand Rapids-based Lambert, Edwards & Associates, which also has offices in Lansing. Dennis Denno, president of Denno Research, also is chief of staff to state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr., D-Detroit.”

In addition, also on Wednesday the National Journal’s Major Garrett reported

“What also became clear after the dust began to settle from the rumble on Long Island [the second presidential debate] was the electoral map has narrowed and Obama’s team, while conceding nothing publicly, is circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. [Obama campaign manager David] Plouffe said that Obama remains strong in all four states, but he would not discuss the specifics of internal polling or voter-contact analytics, saying only that Obama has ‘significant leads’ in all four places.

“It is uncharacteristic of Team Obama to concede any terrain, but Plouffe offered no such assurances about Obama’s position in North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida. Romney advisers have seen big gains in all three states and now consider wins likely, although not guaranteed, in all three. They are similarly upbeat about prospects in Colorado but not confident enough to predict victory. That Plouffe left Colorado off his list of states where Obama’s leading and can withstand a Romney surge might be telling.”

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