It’s hard to believe that not long ago we were asking what Mitt Romney could do to regain his momentum, and even whether it was already too late for the Republican hopeful. But who could blame us? According to the Pew Research Center, President Obama held a commanding 51-43 percent lead just three weeks ago.
However, last week’s debate changed everything. Seventy-two percent of Americans and 90-percent of Sportsmen Vote readers believe Romney won, and he now has a 49-45 percent lead over President Obama in nationwide polling–an incredible 12-point swing.
Just look at these numbers:
-Last month, Obama led among women by a whopping 18 points (56-38 percent), but women are now evenly divided at 47-47 percent.
-Obama was crushing Romney in the 11 key swing states, but Romney now leads 49-47 percent.
-Romney has overtaken Obama by a slight margin in Ohio, a critical swing state.
-Obama’s seemingly insurmountable 12-point lead in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) has been cut to just three points. And plenty of undecided voters remain in the Keystone state.
By a 37% to 24% margin, more swing voters say Romney would improve the job situation. Swing voters favor Romney on the deficit by a two-to-one (41% vs. 20%) margin…. Romney has gained ground on several of these measures since earlier in the campaign. Most notably, Obama and Romney now run even (44% each) in terms of which candidate is the stronger leader. Obama held a 13-point advantage on this a month ago. And Obama’s 14-point edge as the more honest and truthful candidate has narrowed to just five points. In June, Obama held a 17-point lead as the candidate voters thought was more willing to work with leaders from the other party. Today, the candidates run about even on this (45% say Obama, 42% Romney).
The latest polls fly in the face of predictions by political analysts, most of whom said the debate would have little impact because of how few undecided voters were left. If there were indeed few undecideds, a huge number have leapt to the Romney court.
The numbers have even shocked Romney supporters. “Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign?” writes conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast. “Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever?”
We’re not sure, but we are surprised by the degree of the momentum shift. What do you think of this change in the polls? If you’re Obama, how do you move on from your debate loss? And if you’re Romney, how do you continue your surge?