Gallup's daily tracking poll this afternoon finds 47% of adults approve of the job Obama's doing while 46% disapprove. This represents a 5 point drop in Obama's approval rating since the end of the Democrat convention in early September. As we begin the final stretch of the campaign, it looks like the race as settled to where it was at the beginning of September.
Immediately prior to the DNC convention in Charlotte, Obama's approval rating was 47% approve, 47% disapprove. In the wake of the convention, Obama's approval rating rose to 52% and his disapproval dropped to just 43%, a sizable 8-point shift.
The pundit class has decreed that September was a terrible month for the Romney campaign. Yet, its Obama who has seen his position erode the most in the Gallup poll. In the middle of the month, Obama spiked to a six-point lead, then gave it all back. Last week, he again rose to a six point lead, but seems in the process of giving that back as well. This afternoon, Gallup showed Obama with a four point lead over Romney, but, critically, once again below the 50% threshold.
Whatever bounce Obama had after the convention is now gone. The Obama campaign seems to have a ceiling of right around 47-49% of the vote. Any movement he has made above that has been fleeting. The problem for Romney is that his ceiling seems lower, 45-46%. Romney has held his ground throughout September, but we are now entering crunch-time. He needs to put points on the board. The debate on Wednesday is his first real chance to do so.
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