Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling. By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the Republican is now better regarded on most personal dimensions and on most issues than he was in September. Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit.Maybe. But just as I've been cautioning against taking D +9 polls too seriously, I'd also caution against taking a R +5 poll too seriously, either. This thing remains close.
Meanwhile, the narrative takes shape, as Andrew Sullivan emotes mightily:
The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 - 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 - 45 lead. That's a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama's performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.
Romney's favorables are above Obama's now. Yes, you read that right. Romney's favorables are higher than Obama's right now. That gender gap that was Obama's firewall? Over in one night:
Do you sense the despair? There's more:
Or maybe, just maybe, Obama can regain our trust and confidence somehow in the next debate. Maybe he can begin to give us a positive vision of what he wants to do (amazing that it's October and some of us are still trying to help him, but he cannot). Maybe if Romney can turn this whole campaign around in 90 minutes, Obama can now do the same. But I doubt it. A sitting president does not recover from being obliterated on substance, style and likability in the first debate and get much of a chance to come back. He has, at a critical moment, deeply depressed his base and his supporters and independents are flocking to Romney in droves.Oh, come on, Andrew. It's not as bad as all that. In fact, when Obama does better in the next debate, and he will, all will be well again. In fact, look for Obama to be the Comeback Kid, 2012 Edition!