Today's tracking poll from Gallup confirms that Romney has opened a consistent, and significant, lead in the race against President Obama. After dipping a point yesterday, the poll finds Romney again leading Obama by 7 points among likely voters, 52-45. Romney even leads by 3-points among registered voters, a sample which gives Democrats an advantage. The Gallup poll has been remarkably steady since Romney surged into the lead.
Significantly, most of this poll was conducted after Tuesday's second presidential debate. Obama was more energetic in that debate. It would have been just about impossible to not be, but the performance hasn't translated into any kind of bounce in polling for Obama. While he didn't "lose" this week's debate, he certainly hasn't done anything to arrest his erosion in the polls.
A month ago, baseball statistician Nate Silver bragged that Gallup had correctly predicted 18 of the last 20 elections. Of course, Obama was leading the Gallup poll then. Now that Gallup shows Romney with a solid lead, Silver and the rest of the left are hell-bent on attacking Gallup's credibility. In fact, in a textbook case of confirmation bias, Silver has greeted Romney's rise in the Gallup poll by arguing that Obama's chances of reelection have increased. Apparently, Romney's rise in the polls is dooming his campaign.
Even if we allow that Gallup is overstating Romney's lead, their results are consistent with virtually all other polling. State-level polling shows him maintaining solid leads in battlegrounds like North Carolina and Florida, tied or marginally ahead in Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and Iowa, and narrowing the gap in all the other swing states.
Other national polls that don't use ridiculous turnout models all point to Romney edging Obama with just over two weeks to go.
The technical term for this is momentum. Romney's campaign has all the hallmarks of a campaign that is surging at exactly the right, critical moment. While the Obama campaign obsesses over Big Bird, binders and word-games with Romney's name, Romney has honed a substantive message that fits the times and resonates with voters.
Obama needs something very big to save his reelection. Time is running out.
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