Romney Seeing Debate Bounce in Polls

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 6 2012 2:37 PM

Polls Start Showing a Debate Bounce for Romney

Mitt Romney greets supporters in St. Petersburg, Florida

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages

Mitt Romney’s trouncing of President Obama at Wednesday’s debate is starting to show up in public opinion surveys. Rasmussen Reports, which has regularly shown results more favorable to Romney, gives the former Massachusetts governor a two-point edge over Obama nationally, 49 percent to 47 percent, a mirror image of how the poll looked before the debate. The results are based on a three-day rolling average so two-thirds of the interviews were conducted after the debate. Yet it still marked the first time since mid-September that Romney has been ahead “by even a single point,” points out Rasmussen Reports.

Meanwhile, Gallup’s Saturday poll shows Obama with a three-point lead, 49 percent to 46 percent, a decrease from the five-point margin reported the previous day. Yet Gallup’s poll is taken from a seven-day rolling average from Saturday to Friday, suggesting there is still room for the numbers to continue narrowing.

On Friday, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Obama’s lead had narrowed to two percentage points, 46 percent to 44 percent, down from the six-point edge the president held before Wednesday’s debate. The five-day tracking poll included results between Monday and Friday, and some specific questions about the debate for those who answered after Wednesday. A full 91 percent of registered voters said they had heard something about the debate, and 54 percent said Romney had done a better job.


In post-debate polls of swing states, Rasmussen has Ohio at a virtual tie with the president up one point, and Romney moving into a two-point lead in Florida.

The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight forecast also showed “a clear shift” toward Romney on Friday, increasing his chances of winning the Electoral College to 15.1 percent from 12.9 percent on Thursday. Yet it’s far from clear whether Romney will be able to hold on to these increases, particularly considering the Friday job numbers will almost certainly give the president a boost.  

“It’s going to take a few more days for the forecast model to catch up to the news, and I don’t think there’s any alternative but to keep an open mind about the polls for right now,” writes the Times’ Nate Silver.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Not Easy for Me, but I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 23 2014 9:01 AM Tristan da Cunha: Life on the World's Most Remote Island
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 9:42 AM Listen to the Surprising New Single From Kendrick Lamar
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 7:00 AM I Stand With Emma Watson
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.