New York Times poll analyst Nate Silver said Tuesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show that President Obama still has an edge in the 2012 election, but has lost the significant he held during the period between the Democratic convention and the first debate.
"It's become clear that Romney got a three or four point bounce from the debate," Silver said. The race is as close as it has been all year, he added. (Romney is widely regarded to have won the debate, a position borne out by recent polling.)
Furthermore, Republican enthusiasm to defeat Obama, combined with Democratic despondence after the debate, could make the president's prospects even gloomier. The enthusiasm gap "might be enough to push Romney over the top," said Silver.
Liberals shouldn't panic, though—yet. "I'm a little skeptical that it's actually tied right now, based on the fact that Obama still has a lead in the majority of the swing state polls that we've seen," Silver said. If polls continue to show a Romney surge, however, "panic will be an appropriate response."