Republican nominee Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by 4 percentage points among likely voters in a Pew Research Center poll that shows the Republican challenger getting a bounce from last week’s debate.
The survey taken Oct. 4-7, following the Oct. 3 presidential debate in Denver, gave the former Massachusetts governor 49 percent among likely voters and Obama 45 percent. Among registered voters, 66 percent said Romney won the debate and 20 percent said Obama did.
A Pew poll of likely voters taken Sept. 12-16 gave Obama a 51 percent to 43 percent lead, the widest margin of any nominee since Bill Clinton in 1996.
The latest Pew poll showed Romney even with Obama among women likely voters at 47 percent apiece, while leading among men, 51 percent to 43 percent. Last month, Obama held an 18- point edge among women, 56 percent to 38 percent, and trailed by 2 points among men, with 48 percent backing Romney and 46 supporting the president. Independent likely voters backed Romney, 46 percent to 42 percent; they split 45 percent to 44 percent for Obama in September.
The crosstabs -- especially Mitt Romney erasing the President's lead among women -- is pretty sobering news. Pew is not Rasmussen or a GOP outfit. The poll also shows a big jump in Republicans among survey participants:
Among the likely voters, 36 percent identified as Republican, 31 percent as Democratic and 30 percent as independent. The September poll was 39 percent Democratic and 29 percent Republican.
And finally, the crosstabs show that Romney now has higher favorability numbers than the President.
The edge in favorability ratings that Barack Obama had enjoyed throughout the campaign has now been erased, as voters’ impressions of Romney have continued to improve while Obama’s ratings have returned to levels seen earlier in the summer. Currently, voters are about evenly divided in their overall opinions of both Obama (49% favorable, 48% unfavorable) and Romney (50% favorable, 46% unfavorable).
So it depends on what you think of Pew's likely voter model. It's one that heavily favors the GOP in turnout, and gives Romney the win at the national level, at least this week. It's not something that should be ignored. It's also not something I completely buy, but we'll see what all of the other polls say.
I'd like to see how the state polls are shaking out however. A 12 point turnaround, if lasting and stable, will very quickly be reflected in equally big swings in the state polling. So far that's not happening yet.
Here's the thing however. Look deeper into the crosstabs.
Two-thirds of the people Pew surveyed were over 50. A third were over 65, and they favor Romney by 17 points.
If you believe that two-thirds of voters will be over 50, then yes, Romney will win easily. I don't think that will be the case.
Also, check out the racial makeup.
Seems Latino voters were left out of the poll entirely. Sure, that's representative of the population. No Latino voters actually vote, you know.
It's up to the President to make the most of these last four weeks...and up to us to vote.