Mitt Romney has taken the lead in all national opinion polls taken since last week’s presidential debate as the fallout from President Barack Obama’s disastrous performance solidifies in voters’ minds.
For the first time, the RealClearPolitics poll of polls
puts the Republican challenger ahead of President Barack Obama — albeit by a razor thin 0.8 percentage points.
Even battleground states, where Obama had been showing well, are turning against the president, following his unfocused, lackluster showing in his one-on-one showdown with Romney.
Now the stunning turnaround is putting more pressure not only on Obama to come out fighting against Romney in next Tuesday night’s second debate, but also on Vice President Joe Biden, who knows he has to demolish the GOP’s Paul Ryan on Thursday in their only head-to-head confrontation.
Among the poll results issued this week, the Pew Research Center gave Romney a 49 percent to 45 percent lead among likely voters, while Gallup had the Republican up by 49 percent to 47 percent among the same group.
Daily tracking polls also had Romney ahead by a margin of between one and three percentage points where before his Denver debate debacle Obama had been leading.
The polls show that a major challenge for Obama appears to be the size of the vote. Both Pew and Gallup gave Obama a lead among all registered voters, suggesting that the larger the turnout the better chance Obama has of winning.
Both sides continued to insist the vote will be close, saying anything can still happen. Obama surrogate Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told CNN, “We have four weeks. A vice presidential debate, two presidential debates, a lot of campaigning, and some events that you and I can’t even predict are going to occur in the next four weeks.”
Romney’s campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told MSNBC, “Be patient. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs in this campaign, but it’s going to be tight right until the end.”
Most importantly for the Romney campaign are the signs that he is starting to turn the cornier in the crucial battleground states that will determine who lives in the White House come Jan. 20.
Until the debate, Obama was handily ahead in virtually all of them, but RCP now shows Romney leading in Florida, North Carolina and Colorado with Obama up by greatly reduced numbers in Virginia, Ohio and Nevada.
However RCP’s analysis of the final Electoral College count still has Obama ahead by 251 votes to 181. The website says the other 106 votes — in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — are still considered toss-ups.
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