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August 22, 2014

Mitt Romney’s Polling Surge Continues

Mitt Romney’s Polling Surge Continues

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned last month in Virginia. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A cascade of poll numbers confirms Mitt Romney’s big bounce after Wednesday’s debate with President Barack Obama, putting him ahead in several national and state polls and closing the gaps in swing states where he had trailed.

However, there are signs that Friday’s surprising September jobs report may help Obama stanch the bleeding.

Gallup, which unveiled its seven-day likely voter tracker for the first time today, showed Romney with a 49 percent to 47 percent advantage, while Obama led 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters. This and other recently released polls confirmed an enthusiasm gap that favors the GOP. Gallup did have one bright spot for Obama: Its three-day job approval for the president hit a recent high of 53 percent among “all adults,” possibly aided by Friday’s unexpectedly low 7.8 percent unemployment rate.

Still, polling generally continues to show a strong bounce for Romney, the Republican presidential nominee — most pronounced in Monday’s Pew poll that showed the former Massachusetts governor swinging to a 4-point lead from an 8-point deficit after the debate. Today, Romney led Obama nationally in the RealClearPolitics.com average for the first time in the 2012 campaign.

Romney’s momentum was reverberating throughout the battleground states.

New polls showed Obama ahead by a few points in Virginia — a smaller margin than two weeks ago. In states such as Colorado and Florida, where Obama appeared to pull ahead last month, surveys showed the race tied again. But as polls narrow and leads flip in the battlegrounds, one political truth persists: Ohio matters the most. In all likelihood, the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes will determine the next president.

The president hit his high-water mark in Ohio in September, when polls showed him leading Romney by as much as 8 points. Operatives started to write off Ohio as a blue state, declaring more competitive terrain, like Virginia, “the new Ohio.”

Not so fast. By today, similar surveys showed the race effectively tied, with several polls showing either a 1-point Romney lead or a 1-point Obama lead.

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