Few disagree that Mitt Romney won Wednesday night’s presidential debate. Even fewer would argue against the notion that Romney sorely needed that performance to put his campaign back on track. With the national polling averages hovering around three percent in Barack Obama’s favor, Romney’s inability to gain traction was resulting in a pundit-driven drum beat of inevitability.
Not so fast there, muchachos. Polling in key states has shown a widening gap, but in many states, the spreading numbers have been more meandering that directional. True, if it had continued that way the election could have gently slid into the point of no return for Romney, but they didn’t. There’s still time for this thing to get real interesting. Could Romney’s debate performance be the key that unlocks a surge?
To find out, we cranked up the blowers last night in Virginia, Ohio and Florida to ask the electorate who they would vote for if the election were held today. Here are those topline results along with the splits among Republican/Democrat/and Independent voters (self-described by participants):Each of these automated polls had 1,200+ responses from likely voters. MoE 3%. Each was weighted to correct for over-/under-sampling among select demographics.
GOP / DEM / IND
We fully admit that polling this soon after this debate may only give us a needle-flick snapshot of a knee-jerk reaction and there’s no telling how long the big swig of go-juice that Romney got from the first debate will last.
But we have lots of phones and itchy dialing fingers. Stay tuned.