Thursday, October 4, 2012

First post-debate poll: Romney gains with Republicans and Obama gains with Independents

Adding a bit of confirmation to my analysis earlier today are the numbers from the first post-debate poll done by Ipsos/Reuters. First of all, the top line number shows that Romney made gains and Obama held his own (results from the previous poll in parenthesis).

Obama 48 (48)
Romney 43 (39)

But its WHERE Romney made his gains that is even more interesting. Markos has the charts here, but I'll give you the summary.

Obama's favorables were unchanged from before to after the debate...56/44 (favorable/unfavorable) and Romney's went up: pre-debate 46/54 to post-debate 51/49. But the critical issue is that his improvement mostly came from Republicans. He was at 44/56 with Independents both before and after the debate.

Obama on the other hand, held steady with Democrats but went up significantly with Independents: pre-debate 46/54 to post-debate 54/46.

In case you're mathematically inclined, you might be wondering why the top line for Obama stayed the same when he obviously won support from Independents. That is likely explained by the fact that there were fewer Democrats in the post-debate sample.

Its not insignificant that the debate brought some life back to Romney's campaign with Republicans. Who knew that etch-a-sketching his slate clean from so much pandering to the base would actually help him win back the Party faithful?

But in the end, it won't be nearly enough. He needed to make a dent with those Independents. And on that front he failed. Obama took them...big time.

So just remember that while all the bleating goes on amongst the pundits and partisans about what a lousy job President Obama did last night.


  1. Nice preliminary look at the data, Smartypants!

    I have to disagree slightly on the possible reason behind Romney's favorability gain among Republicans. This is just a gut feeling, but I don't think the etch-a-sketching had any impact at all, I just think it became unimportant because Romney managed to start looking more like the GOP floating ideal of Dear Leader. He was "forceful", "aggressive" and "tough" in dealing with President Obama and Jim Lehrer. By which of course I mean he was a real prick. Republicans love that stuff, and it mostly turns non-authoritarians off. Which I think explains both the Republican favorables toward Mitt and the Independent favorables toward Barack.

    That's my $0.02 anyway.

  2. As I said earlier on another blog, Romney may have dominated the forum through sheer agression but this cuts no ice with Independents,and in the end all he will be left with is a hollow "win". I firmly believe over the comming days there will be no dramatic shift in the polling and all the pundit hysteria will seem asinine.


  3. "On the private briefing calls, pollster Neil Newhouse stressed that although Romney’s debate performance put him on a positive trajectory, it is unlikely to dramatically move numbers in states such as Ohio, where the latest polls show Obama with a significant advantage, according to an adviser also on the calls."

    People think in too binary terms. It's possible for Romney to "win" in the sense that he halts (for however long) his campaign's negative momentum and characterization, but in a way that doesn't come at the expense of the President.

    The President simultaneously won by holding his line on policy. He has better policy. Contrary to people calling him to make adjustments, the debate proved he can win the race on pure autopilot. He doesn't need to react to anything. Romney desperately needs to lie to be competitive, the President just needs to tell the truth.

    Romney may have potentially mitigated his downside risks, maybe he's at less of a risk of a ten-fifteen point blowout, I don't know. But he didn't cut into the President's upside, so the contours of the race stay what they are. Romney can't win, he can only lose by less.

  4. An undecided voter I was leaning towards Obama but was dissappointed with his lack of preparation for the debates. It was obvious he had not done his homework, a trait a person who wants to be President simply cannot have. After this debate I'm a likely Romney voter.

    1. Then you are likely supporting an arrogant plutocrat who tells lie after lie, can't be bothered to disclose his taxes, changes positions faster than a weathervane in a hurricane and will turn back hard won civil rights, just for starters. Good luck with that.

    2. Anonymous @ 7:12:

      Nice try. I'm not buying it.

    3. Poor attempt at trolling, go back to the drawing board


    4. "It was obvious he had not done his homework, a trait a person who wants to be President simply cannot have."

      Dude, "that person" has been President since January of 2009. And he has been plenty prepared in many situations.


  5. @Anonymous 7:12.

    The president "did not do his homework?" Seriously? He's the president and knows all about what's going on nationally AND internationally--information Romney is not privy to. You obviously don't know the difference between style and substance.

    Anon is a concern troll, IMO.

    It's clear that a lot of people lost their bearings over this first debate. Look at today's unemployment rate and jobs number. That's what counts, not Romney Etch-a-Sketch dissembling performance.

  6. Mo'nin, Ms. Pants

    As this dust continues to settle and we find once aGAIN that the "beige" guy (a Miles Davis term. plus, I have two of my own so I can say that :-) ) really DOES know what he's doin' (siiiiiiiiigh)....

    The unemployment rate drops to 7.8%.

    Not shabby for a "lazy, not too bright" guy who just can't do any better, no?

    Have a BETTER one today.

  7. Been there, done that.

    Yeah, Obama lost Wed. nite. Except that he didn't, mostly. Mittens landed no significant body punch. And from what I remember there was only 2 real zingers.

    The debates have a history of bumber sticker sized bon mots.
    Remember "Where's the Beef?" (and it was MONDALE, not Reagan), "you're no JFK", "there you go again". Well, Romney got off the only two that could possibly rank in that list:

    1. My kids are liars
    2. I'm gonna fire Big Bird.

    I doubt Mitt's handlers are pleased with that.

  8. Interesting read. I thought Romney had a fairly mixed performance; although he came across as more 'presidential' in style and delivery, the ongoing lack of substance and detail continues. Here's what I thought of the debate - Romney lurches to the centre: