Romney now leading Obama by four percent among likely voters in post-debate Pew poll

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s Denver debate performance has boosted him ahead of President Barack Obama, according to a stunning new poll by the Pew Research Center released Monday.

“Among likely voters, Romney holds a slight 49% to 45% edge over Obama. … [Romney] has drawn even with Obama in the presidential race among registered voters (46% to 46%) after trailing by nine points (42% to 51%) in September,” Pew’s analysis stated.

Romney jumped from 32 percent to 42 percent among votes younger than 30, gained 11 points among people with some college education and lost 2 points among people with no college education.

His support among whites jumped from 51 percent to 59 percent, while his support among African-Americans slid from 11 percent to 7 percent.

The percentage of people who say Romney’s policies would aid the middle class jumped from 41 percent to 49 percent. And 39 percent said his policies would aid the working class, up from 33 percent in September.

However, Pew’s sample of 1,201 registered voters included 403 Republicans, 396 Democrats and 364 independents. That’s a higher share of GOP supporters than pollsters usually assume, which may have slanted the results in Romney’s favor.

And other polls released following the Wednesday night debate showed Romney with smaller gains from the debate and still have Obama in the lead overall, especially in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Florida.

A Gallup poll of 1,387 registered voters released Oct. 8 showed Romney gaining five points, creating a 47-47 percent split between the two candidates.

In the week prior to the debate, Obama had reached 50 percent in the Gallup poll, while Romney was at 45 percent. A whopping 72 percent of Gallup’s respondents said Romney had won the debate, while only 20 percent declared Obama the winner.

“Across all of the various debate-reaction polls Gallup has conducted, Romney’s 52-point win is the largest Gallup has measured,” Gallup said in a release. “The prior largest margin was 42 points for Bill Clinton over George H.W. Bush in the 1992 town hall debate.”

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Neil Munro