If the “47 percent” remark seemed to trigger an implosion of Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s candidacy, then it can now be safely said that the last Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Romney has caused a sudden and big weakening of Obama’s: most polls now suggest Obama’s poor debate performance undid the “bounce” he got from the Democratic Convention and former President Bill Clinton’s speech, and the political benefit from Romney’s secretly recorded comments about the 47%.
And the latest two polls fit the new pattern, heading into tonight’s debate. First, there’s this PPP Poll commissioned for Daily Kos, with founder Kos’ explanation of it:
Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 10/12-14. Likely voters. MoE ±2.5% (10/4-7 results)
The candidates for President are Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. If the election was today, who would you vote for?
Obama 46 (47)
Romney 50 (49)
At a time when other polls are moving back in the president’s direction, our own weekly poll by Public Policy Polling saw the opposite—a two-point Romney gain. Per day:
Friday (38%) Obama 47, Romney 49
Saturday (39%) Obama 49, Romney 47
Sunday (24%) Obama 43, Romney 55
That Sunday sample, about a quarter of the total, was entirely responsible for Romney’s favorable numbers. That’s why the good pollsters collect data over multiple days, to smooth out such irregularities. And at 400 respondents (or so), Sunday had a single-day MoE of 4.9 percent. Lots of polls float around with worse. On the other hand, Saturday’s sample MoE was 3.92 percent, while Friday’s was 3.97 percent. And with no external news even suggesting the big Sunday collapse, it certainly smells like an outlier.
Swing state Obama 47, Romney 50
Blue state Obama 52, Romney 45
Red State Obama 40, Romney 56
Two weeks ago, it was Obama leading Romney 50-46 in the Swing states. But he was also winning Blue states by 56-37, and losing Red states by just 41-52. Actually, the change in Red states is smaller (-5) compared to Blue states (-12) and Swing states (-7).
As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.
The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey’s respondents. Obama’s support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.
“What Republican candidates need to do is to rack up big margins in rural areas in order to offset smaller [Republican] margins in urban and suburban areas,” says Dan Judy of North Star Opinion Research, the Republican polling firm that participated in the survey.
*Several weeks ago many conservatives were claiming the pollsters were somehow in bed with Obama and the “liberal media” in their polling, since Romney was behind. But now these polls show Romney ahead. And you even see conservative websites (gasp!) linking to Daily Kos. Because now these are good, accurate, thoughtful, no problem with the methodology polls, no evil plot here polls because they show Obama going down. It underscores the absurdity and rank partisan spin of the charges a few weeks ago. But, increasingly, many voters don’t care about that: they will get their viewpoints from what someone on their side says forcefully and repeatedly.
*Yesterday it was the Democrats’ turn to be tiresome: I got a slew of emails and Twitter phone messages from Democrats insisting a poll showing Obama behind was flawed in the methodology. The second partisans on either side go on about methodology I stop reading or listening because it is all — to be blunt — “sour grapes.” I’d use the word “malarky,” but it has become too popular a word this week. But, yes, let’s use the word: it is malarky.
*As I’ve noted many times here, apart from keeping an eye on the all-important electoral votes, the trend to watch is what an average of polling shows.
Real Clear Politics:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.