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Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Politics | 7 comments

Reuters/Ipsos Poll: Obama widens lead over Romney despite jobs data

Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

More signs of a bounce for President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democratic National Convention. The latest poll:

President Barack Obama, picking up support following the Democratic National Convention, widened his narrow lead over Republican U.S. presidential challenger Mitt Romney in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Saturday.

The latest daily tracking poll showed Obama, a Democrat, with a lead of 4 percentage points over Romney. Forty-seven percent of 1,457 likely voters surveyed online over the previous four days said they would vote for Obama if the November 6 elections were held today, compared with 43 percent for Romney.

“The bump is actually happening. I know there was some debate whether it would happen… but it’s here,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark, referring to the “bounce” in support that many presidential candidates enjoy after nominating conventions.

And bumps do disappear. But right now it appears Obama has had a positive bump and according to one new estimate Mitt Romney had a negative bump.

Obama had leapfrogged Romney in the daily tracking poll on Friday with a lead of 46 percent to 44 percent.

The president’s lead comes despite a mixed reaction to his convention speech on Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Friday’s government data showing that jobs growth slowed sharply last month.

Obama’s lead over Romney is comparable to Romney’s former lead over the president after the Republican National Convention finished last week, Clark said.

“We don’t have another convention now to turn our attention to, so (Obama’s bounce) may maintain,” Clark said. “How big it’ll be and how long it will last remains to be seen.”

Writes Andrew Sullivan:

Yes, the ad blitz is coming; yes, the debates will be crucial, yes, turnout matters a huge amount too, anything can happen, blah blah blah. But right in front of our noses is some compelling data that in the first real skirmish of the campaign proper, the Romney-Republicans blew it.

Remember that polls are see-saws. This can and likely will change. Several times.

And — I’ll say it again — partisans will start to question the methodology and try to discredit polls they don’t like but never go after the methodology or try to discredit a poll that shows their side ahead.

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UPDATE: Josh Marshall looking at several polls that suggest an Obama bounce:

Whatever we learn about an Obama bump, I think the bigger issue isn’t whether Obama got one but that Romney seems not to have gotten one. And he’s the one who needed it.

Yes, the race is very close. But the one thing more striking about this campaign than the closeness of the race has been President Obama’s small but consistent lead.

Romney is the one who really, really needed the convention to shift the campaign conversation and start convincing undecided and tenuous Obama voters to switch to his side. That seems not to have happened. And that’s a big deal.