Following his “victory” in last week’s first presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney has overtaken President Barack Obama in several polls, including a Pew survey released Monday that shows a four-point lead.
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, in the first poll taken entirely after Wednesday’s debate in Denver (Oct. 4-7), found the candidates tied at 46 percent among registered voters (marking a change from the nine-point Obama lead in the previous Sept. 12-16 survey), and Romney ahead 49 to 45 percent with likely voters.
“By about three-to-one," Pew said, “voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the Republican is now better regarded on most personal dimensions and on most issues than he was in September. Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas.”
Other polls shows a less dramatic shift after the debate.
Republican-leaning Rasmussen found Romney leading by two points in its Saturday release, which was based on findings from the tracking period of Oct. 3-5, Talking Points Memo reported. But in Rasmussen Monday’s poll, conducted entirely after the debate and in part following the release of Friday’s upbeat jobs report, the two candidates were tied again. Gallup reported on Monday that Obama and Romney were tied in the three days immediately following the debate, after Obama led by five in the three days prior. But on Monday, Gallup’s tracking -- which is based on a seven-day rolling average -- showed that Obama again led by five percentage points. Another Gallup poll showed viewers of the debate rated Romney the winner by 72 percent to 20 percent.
Another survey released from Public Policy Polling (PPP) on Monday indicated that Obama’s lead over his Republican opponent has shrunk to its lowest point of the election cycle in the swing state of Virginia. Obama -- who was the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 -- leads Romney 50 percent to 47 percent, down two points from a 51 percent to 46 percent lead three weeks earlier.
Romney also registered a 10-point gain in his favorability ratings, moving from a net-negative to a net-positive in the poll -- even more evidence that the first debate of the season has already injected new life into his campaign.
Further, RealClearPolitics.com's polling average in several swing states also has tightened. In the key battleground states of Florida and Virginia, Romney is about even with Obama. Meanwhile, the president has a small three-point lead in Ohio -- or within the poll's margin of error.
Still, while the president's support level registered a slight dip among the electorate, the Obama campaign did receive some welcome news over the weekend. The campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, raised a combined $181 million in September, setting a new monthly fundraising record for the 2012 presidential campaign.
The haul falls just shy of the all-time, one-month record, $193 million, set by Obama in September 2008.