Joining in with the latest string of poll’s widening Mitt Romney’s edge over President Obama, a nationwide poll released by Monmouth University on Monday maintains that Romney has made inroads against the president, not merely since the first presidential debate, but has managed to continue that upward momentum even after the second debate (which Obama supposedly won) as well.
Currently, Gov. Romney leads the incumbent by 48% to 45% among likely American voters. Following the first debate earlier this month, Romney held a one point lead. The current results mark a reversal from Monmouth’s mid-September poll when Pres. Obama held a 48% to 45% advantage in vote intention. Currently, 3% of likely voters say they will vote for another candidate and 5% are still undecided about their choice – results which have held steady since June.
About 12% of the poll’s likely voter sample reports they have already cast their presidential ballot in early voting. Among this group, Romney got 44% of the vote to 41% for Obama – an edge which is within the margin of error for this sub-group.
“The debates changed the dynamic of this race. While many observers feel the president won the second meeting, it did not erase the damage incurred by the first one. And it’s not clear whether tonight’s final debate on foreign policy can alter that,” said Patrick Murray, director of the New Jersey-based Monmouth University Polling Institute.
While the poll has Obama holding onto a slight lead with women voters (49 to Romney’s 45), Romney is continuing to gain voters’ confidence with the more particularly important issues in this election cycle (voters trust Romney more on the federal budget and national debt, 51 to 42; and on jobs and the economy, Romney’s also hedged a lead, 50 to 44). And even as Team Obama has tried to make hay over Romney’s proposed changes to Medicare and Social Security, Romney’s improved his standing on the combined issue even more since the second debate, 48 to 45 — after the first debate, the candidates were practically tied, with Obama at 46 and Romney at 45.
It may be true that tonight’s foreign-policy presidential debate concerns the subject matter about which voters care the least and fewer people may be tuning in, but with these pollsters arguing that the second debate didn’t do anything to damage Romney’s momentum and currently reporting the candidates virtually tied on foreign policy, Obama 47 — Romney 46, a great performance from the challenger will likely continue to tip the scales in his favor. The D/R/I in this poll is 35/31/34 for a D+4, and as Ed summarized earlier, Republicans comprised 32 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 35 percent in 2010. With all of the Republican anti-Obama fervor and Democratic Obama-letdown, I’d imagine this poll still understates Romney’s advantage — I don’t think there are enough Osama-bin-Laden football spikes in the world, let alone in tonight’s 90-minute debate, to drive Democrats to the voting booths in those numbers.