Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Debate bump appears to pull Romney even with Obama nationally and in Florida
Posted Oct 8, 2012 by William March
Updated Oct 8, 2012 at 05:34 PM
His strong performance in last week’s presidential debate appears to have pulled Mitt Romney at least even both nationally and in Florida, according to polls now being released.
Both at the state and national levels, the most recent polls show Romney with leads, pulling the polling averages up to even with President Barack Obama.
At the national level, a new poll by the respected Pew Research Center shows Romney with a 4-point lead, 49-45 percent, among likely voters, while Gallup and Rasmussen Reports tracking polls released Friday and over the weekend showed a tie.
As result, the polling average published by the Real Clear Politics web site now has Obama ahead by only half a percentage point, 47.9 percent to 47.5 percent. That’s a change from a 4-point lead by Obama Oct. 1.
The Pew poll showed dramatic movement by Romney, up from an 8-point deficit in a Sept. 12-16 poll. In the new survey, 66 percent of respondents said Romney did the better job in last week’s debate, while only 20 percent said Obama did. That poll sampled 1,511 respondents, for an error margin of 3.4 points. Full results here.
The Huffington Post’s polling average also shows Romney moving from a 3-point deficit to a tie, although his movement in Huffpo’s average began before the debate.
In Florida, polling evidence is less conclusive, but also suggests movement by Romney.
As of Oct. 1, he trailed Obama 3 points in the state wide Real Clear Politics average. But polls following the debate by Rasmussen and We Ask America showed Romney with small leads, resulting in 47-47 percent tie in the state polling average.