Mitt Romney moved ahead or narrowed the lead held by President Obama in several national polls that took place in the days after the first presidential debate in which the Republican candidate’s performance was widely praised.
A Pew Research Center poll on Monday showed Romney ahead of Obama by four points. Previously the president had led by eight points in that poll. Rasmussen also gave Romney the edge in its most recent poll (49% to 47%), as did a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.
A Gallup poll from directly after the debate showed the two candidates tied at 47% each, though its daily tracking continues to show a five-point lead by Obama.
While the Romney campaign might celebrate its candidate’s improvement, many politicos and pollsters said it simply reflects the continued tightness of a competitive presidential race.
“Regardless of what the [poll] variations might be, it’s a close race,” said Anne Kornblut, deputy national politics editor of The Washington Post, on msnbc’s Jansing & Co. Tuesday. “The ‘October Surprise’ everyone always talks about is that we’re back to where we were in the spring. It’s a very close race.”
Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup Poll, added that Obama is already regaining some of the ground he lost in the immediate aftermath of his first head-to-head debate with Romney.
“Romney definitely got a significant boost on Thursday and Friday of last week, but when we monitor our data from Saturday and Sunday, and actually I was just looking at our numbers from last night, Obama is picking back up again,” he explained on Jansing & Co. Tuesday.
New daily polling data is expected from Gallup at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
“We think that continuation of a huge move by Romney is not in the data,” Newport added. “It’s looking like the race among registered voters is still tilting slightly in Obama’s favor. Among likely voters, we would think Romney would probably be even or have a very slight lead.”