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Pew has Romney up four, even among women

by | Oct 8, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

   The evidence that there was considerable fallout from President Obama’s disastrous first presidential debate is mounting, almost by the hour.
   The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a poll today that has pro-life Mitt Romney ahead of pro-abortion Barack Obama by four points among likely voters–49% to 45%–after trailing by eight points last month. That is a better index at this point than registered voters, but even there, after trailing by nine points last month, Romney has drawn even, 46% to 46%. But it’s the details of the survey of 1,511 adults conducted October 4-7 that are remarkably encouraging.
  No surprise that exactly two-thirds said Romney did a better job at last Wednesday debate, compared with 20% for Obama (Romney won among Independents, 72% to 14%). Interesting additional note: “A majority (64%) of voters who watched the debate describes it as mostly informative; just 26% say it was mostly confusing.”
  Also not surprising, but nice to have confirmation that (according to Pew) “More generally, the poll finds Romney’s supporters far more engaged in the campaign than they were in September. Fully 82% say they have given a lot of thought to the election, up from 73% in September. The new survey finds that Romney supporters hold a 15-point advantage over Obama backers on this key engagement measure. Supporters on both sides were about even in September.”
   But the most encouraging result of all, perhaps, is that “Coming out of the debate, Mitt Romney’s personal image has improved. His favorable rating has hit 50% among registered voters for the first time in Pew Research Center surveys and has risen five points since September.” What about the same question for the President? “Obama’s personal favorability rating has fallen from 55% to 49%.”
   Arguably the second most important result is that “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).” After four years of a President whose “leadership” style is my way or else, the electorate obviously appreciated Romney’s description of how, as the Republican governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a legislature that was overwhelmingly Democratic.
  You read the poll at your leisure at www.people-press.org/2012/10/08/romneys-strong-debate-performance-erases-obamas-lead/ so let me highlight just one more critically important finding from the Pew poll.
   What would you say is the single “given” that drives the narrative about this election? It’s that Republicans are waging a “war on women” and, as a result, women are abandoning Romney in droves. What did Pew find?
   “In the presidential horserace, Romney has made sizable gains over the past month among women voters, white non-Hispanics and those younger than 50. Currently, women are evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters.”
   This goes back to a point that NBC’s Chuck Todd made on “Meet the Press” Sunday vis a vis the “enthusiasm gap”: it didn’t start with the debate, although (and this is my conclusion) the President’s indifference/petulance and grumpy persona in Denver served to accelerate the momentum which was already heading in Mr. Romney’s direction.
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