Night-to-night data indicate a sizable boost for Romney, and drop for Obama, on Thursday night, a day after their first debate, which Romney widely is seen as having won. But both of those trends subsequently subsided in this poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday.
The net effect is slight at best. Romney is now seen favorably by 47 percent of registered voters overall, unfavorably by 51 percent; Obama’s rating is better, 55-44 percent.
Joshua Holland has a little fun with the freak-out (hint: when you're freaking out, it helps to laugh).
As a good liberal, my first instinct upon learning that Mitt Romney is ahead by 4 points in the latest Pew poll was, obviously, to wring my hands.
Then I realized that a 4-point margin in November probably means the Republicans taking the Senate and extending their majority in the House. I don't want to live in Mitt Romney's neo-feudal society, so I got out an exacta-knife and went to slit my wrists.
But then -- just in the knick of time! -- I saw that Romney's post-debate bounce appeared to be receding in the Gallup poll, which once again has Obama up by 5. And just like that, the clouds parted, birds began to sing and I felt like a kid who just found an adorable little puppy under the family Christmas tree.
The moral of the story: It's important to invest a great deal of weight in each new poll because that's what makes elections fun! And it's an especially valuable exercise when the data is very noisy -- like in the days following a big debate.
That's also why focusing on the polling averages -- which are less responsive to short-term shifts driven by the news cycle -- is so boring. You could go an entire election season without a single freakout, and, really, what's the point of that?
The Obama campaign captured one of the more craven aspects of Romney's foreign policy speech yesterday.
During elections, we hear things about Joe Sixpack and Soccer Moms and Nascar voters. Perhaps we should have a new category for Pre-existing Condition voters (between 20-50% the electorate).
Jill Thacker was dying for a cup of coffee when she recently ran into a 7-Eleven convenience store. To her pleasant surprise, the coffee was free -- as long as she would commit to drinking it in either a red Mitt Romney cup or a blue Barack Obama cup.
"Which are you going to choose, Mom?" her son asked.
Which, indeed. A gun-owning, big-government-hating Republican, Thacker's every instinct told her to buy a Romney cup. But Thacker, 56, and her daughter have asthma -- a pre-existing condition -- and with Obama as president they'll be guaranteed the ability to buy insurance.
Thacker stood in the 7-Eleven and stared at the red and blue cups, stymied by the choice they represented...
She thought about her insurance, which covers her only if "I get hit by a bus." It's the only insurance she can afford given her preexisting condition.
She thought about how she's still paying off a $22,000 emergency room bill from last year.
She thought about her 25-year-old daughter, who's on her father's insurance only because of Obamacare.
But she also thought about how, in many fundamental ways, she just doesn't like Obama.
Then she reached for the blue cup with Obama's name on it.
"I really do feel conflicted," she said. "But for me, it's all about health care. It's my number one thing."
And finally, one more picture from President Obama paying homage to Cesar Chavez yesterday. In the comments to my post about this last night, Bill brought up something important to notice. Yesterday was Columbus Day. Chavez was Indigenous. Ponder the significance of that one for a moment.