Romney close behind Obama after debate, jobs report

WASHINGTON Sun Oct 7, 2012 4:18pm EDT

1 of 3. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Port St. Lucie, Florida October 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stayed within striking distance of President Barack Obama in a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Sunday, coming in two points behind the Democrat for the third straight day after winning last week's debate in Denver.

The online survey found 47 percent of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama and 45 percent for Romney if the November 6 election were held now. That solidifies an improvement by the Republican who had trailed his opponent by six points in the same daily poll going into the debate.

"Romney's performance in the debate I think has improved his share of the vote for now ... It's a significant change from where we were a couple of weeks ago," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.

But the upside for Romney from the debate, the first of three with Obama this month, appears limited.

"I would say that if the debate was a game-changer, we would see Romney continue to make gains," she said. "He's narrowed the race but he doesn't seem to be overtaking Obama."

The division among likely voters was exactly the same in the rolling poll on Saturday and 46 percent to 44 percent on Friday.

Fifty-five percent of registered voters thought Romney did better at the debate, where he was aggressive in attacking the White House's economic record. Obama's muted performance at the podium received approval from less than 25 percent.

The pool of voters Obama and Romney are fighting for is narrowing.

In Sunday's poll, 8 percent of registered voters said they have already voted early in person or by absentee ballot, while 84 percent said they have "definitely" decided which candidate to vote for, leaving only 16 percent saying they may change their mind. And even fewer will actually do so, Clark said.

In a positive move for Obama's campaign, however, Friday brought a surprisingly strong report on U.S. employment. On Saturday, the campaign announced raising $181 million in September - a record so far for the 2012 election.

But Clark said the polls are unlikely to reflect the more positive jobs report.

"Americans don't change their views on how things are doing economically based on jobs numbers," but focus on their personal experience, she said.

This week, the focus of the campaign shifts to the debate on Thursday between Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican nominee to replace him, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

The precision of Reuters/Ipsos polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for registered voters and 2.9 points for likely voters. It was conducted October 3-7.

The poll interviewed 1,745 registered voters and 1,490 likely voters over the previous four days.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (30)
plang1 wrote:
obama’s ridiculous job report only showed how badly romney shook him up at the debate!

Oct 07, 2012 3:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlexZ83 wrote:
Can Reuters conduct and publish a poll on how many voters actually believe the unemployment figures publish last Friday? They’d never dare.

Oct 07, 2012 4:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paulstewart wrote:
The Denver debate, the 7.8 and why Jim Lehrer lost control….. ….and of Mittonnesty, Mittology and Mittematics!

I know the verdict is in and most say Gov. Mitt Romney “won” the debate. Yet after watching it and considering it the past day or two, I think Pres. Barack Obama won. How and why? Well, for starters Romney’s high energy and bullet point delivery was structured to brazenly open attacks on the President; as though everything was his fault. As though everything was normal about this past 4 years and Obama just couldn’t cut it. Romney gave no quarter, when a dollar is actually due.

Obama deserve credit rather than criticism. America has a plan and is moving forward to build its infrastructure, its science, its schools, its health, and its strength and leadership abroad. A plan to deal with the deficit. A plan to build a foundation for an economy built to last. A return to the American Dream. A fair shake and a fair shot to achieve that Dream.

Obama is on this path in an honest and straight forward way. It is more than a promise, it is happening. It just needs to happen much faster. And you it is you who can step on the gas right now!

How? Simple; vote out obstructionist politicians. That’s it, just vote against any politicians more focused on limiting Obama’s future, than expanding America’s and yours. Do it right now! Let’s go! Just say “That’s it for you (fili)buster”! This will send Congress a message. A strong one. Americans are not going to take this any more!

This gives Pres. Obama’s good efforts leverage to propel the country Forward. Obama deserves another 4 years. I think he is focused more on doing right by America and Americans than most politicians in living memory. I think that President Reagan is a good comparison.

So you can do it. It’s in your hands. The change is you!

Oct 07, 2012 4:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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