Rich Galen

Romney's best debate performance of the season on Thursday night resulted to his leading the three polls released yesterday (Sunday) by an average of 14 percentage points.

A swing of - are you ready - 21 points from Monday to Sunday toward Romney.

National polling has followed the in-state polling over the past 10 days. The Gallup organization has been conducting a five-day tracking poll since early December.

The way a tracking poll works is a polling firm will make some number of calls - say 100 - per night over three, four or, in Gallup's case, five nights. After the total is reached the results are released (either to the campaign if it is a private poll, or to the media if it's public).

Gallup released its numbers after five nights. On the sixth night, they recalculated the results leaving the first night off. On the seventh night they left off the second night's results. What this does is give you a very good sense of the arc of a campaign.

Going into South Carolina Romney had a 37-14 lead in Gallup's national five-day tracking poll. By Thursday the national numbers had change to a Gingrich lead over Romney of 32-24.

By Saturday the Gallup five day tracking poll had closed to a 28-26 lead for Gingrich meaning the later days in the track were strongly for Romney.

The Florida primary will be held tomorrow night and we'll get to compare the polling with the voting.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at