We’ll have plenty of poll data today, and most of it looks impressive for Mitt Romney — including one from a surprising source, which I’ll get to later today. Rasmussen’s swing state poll might be the most crucial for looking at the swing in the race since the debate, since Romney hasn’t had a lead in the eleven-state survey since September 19th. Today, however, the poll shows a five-point swing since yesterday and has Romney up three, 49/46:
The full Swing State tracking update offers Rasmussen Reader subscribers a combined view of the results from 11 key states won by President Obama in 2008 and thought to be competitive in 2012. The states collectively hold 146 Electoral College votes and include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. …
In the 11 swing states, Mitt Romney earns 49% support to Obama’s 47%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
This is the first time Romney has led the daily Swing State Survey since September 19. Until today, the president had led for 17 of the previous 19 days, and the candidates had been tied twice. This survey is based on findings from the previous seven days, with most of the responses now coming since Romney’s debate win last Wednesday night.
The tracking poll dropped the results from last Monday and added yesterday’s results. That is what produced the five-point swing, and it suggests that stronger results might be on the way, as the last two pre-debate results will drop out tomorrow and Wednesday. Obama had led in this tracking poll by as much as six points on October 1st and 4th, the latter the day after the debate and the last day with no debate-driven results. Obama’s lead went from 6 to 5, then to 3 and a few days at 2 before today’s reversal.
The internals look pretty good for Romney, too, in this latest iteration. He has a 10-point lead among independents at 49/39, the latter a disastrous number for an incumbent just four weeks out from the election. Obama still leads among women, but only by five — and Romney leads among men by 11, for a +6 gender gap advantage. Obama has large leads among voters under 40 years of age (but not a majority among 30-39YOs at 49/37), while Romney wins solid majorities in all other age demos at 40 and above.
Moreover, Romney now leads by six among those “certain” of their vote, at 46/40. The soft numbers for Obama may be a real problem if he can’t dent Romney’s polling surge, as a preference cascade may wipe out the 7% that are leaning towards him now in these swing states. Romney does even better among independents in this measure, leading 43/31 among those “certain” of their choice. Romney has a 14-point lead among “certain” men (and a majority at 50/36), and only a three-point deficit among “certain” women, 41/44.
Those “certain” numbers will be key to watch over the next four weeks. If Romney can start solidifying support while Obama remains in the low 40s (or lower), the break of undecideds might be overwhelming.
Update: A new ARG poll shows Romney now leading Obama in Ohio, 48/47 — even with a D+9 sample. The D/R/I in this poll is 42/33/25; the 2008 election was 39/31/30; in 2010, it was 36/37/28. Among independents, Romney leads by 20 points, 57/37; Obama won them by 8 in Ohio in 2008, 52/44. I would assume that a proper balance that included more independents would extend Romney’s lead significantly.