Say hello to the IBD/TIPP tracking poll:
- Romney: 48.7 percent - Obama: 43.7 percent
- Romney’s lead widened to 5 points from 2 points...
- Romney’s edge among independents widened to 20 points from 18 just a day before.
- Obama’s lead among women narrowed from 10 points to 8 points.
- Romney also continues to make inroads among middle-class voters, moving from a 6-point lead to a 10-point lead.
- The current data include only polls taken after Romney’s resounding debate win over Obama on Oct. 3.
The internals are interesting, too. Romney's crushing it with independents (+20) and winning handily among middle (+9) and working-class (+10) households. Obama's doing best among the rich (+11...surprise!) and the poor (+5). Another number to keep an eye on is Obama's shrinking advantage with younger voters. In this poll, he's down to 50 percent -- an anomaly? Not according to the new Fox News poll, which shows a six-point topline jump for Romney, who now holds a narrow lead:
The poll shows independents side with Romney by 44-32 percent. That’s a reversal from before the debate when it was 43-39 in Obama’s favor. (A 16-point swing) One independent in four is undecided or will vote for another candidate. Support for Obama is down a bit across the board -- most notably among young voters: 50 percent of voters under age 30 back Obama, down from 58 percent two weeks ago.
If Team Obama has to worry about low youth turnout and eroding support within the cohort, it could be a long October for them. Many of those voters will "come home" to Obama, but how many of them will actually show up? Here's how Democrats are grappling with their newfound anxiety, in three easy steps:
(1) Double down on Big Bird:
(2) Kick-start War On Women 4.0, and hyperventilate about abortion.
(3) Explain why polls don't matter:
The Obama campaign's top polling guru has a message for their grassroots volunteers and field organizers: ignore the polls."Polls will go up, polls will go down," campaign director of opinion research David Simas said on a campaign webcast for volunteers. "At the end of the day, polls don't matter," Simas said, touting the Obama campaign's extensive field operation and get out the vote effort.
He's certainly right about polls bouncing around, a line both campaigns have pushed from time to time. But not to worry, Obama says, the "fundamentals" of the race haven't changed. Thay may be the case -- but it's not necessarily good news for him either:
The truth: The fundamentals really haven’t changed much. The deceptive part: O’s touting that as a good thing when in fact the fundamentals have always worked against him, not for him. That was the point of Sean Trende’s terrific piece yesterday at RCP, that Obama’s campaign strategy has been carefully crafted to counter the effects of electoral “gravity” — high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and massive deficits, all fundamental to the quadrennial question of whether you’re better off now than you were four years ago. Trende’s thesis is that The One’s best/only way to neutralize “gravity” is to nurture a perception in the media and, by extension, in the electorate that victory is inevitable. The more Romney’s seen as a flailing loser, the fewer donations he’ll get, the more depressed the GOP base will be, and the less interested right-leaning undecideds will be in voting. That was the game plan as of last Wednesday, until Romney shattered it by destroying Obama at the debate. The fact that Mitt now looks like a plausible winner to the press is the one and only way in which the fundamentals really have changed, and that’s why you see O here desperate to recapture a sense of inevitability.
Trende is certainly onto something, which is why you can bet your bottom dollar that the media will dutifully craft the "Obama comeback" narrative in order to assert for the umpteenth time that this election is over. If you're relentlessly told that the emporer is invincible, you're less inclined to notice that he's not wearing any clothes. That's why the debate was so big: It was the equalizer. Voters suddenly realized that Obama could be beaten, which then exposed the soft underbelly of his dreadful record. The White House -- and their media allies -- can't have that. Brace yourselves for more 'inevitability' narratives, and pay no attention. Here's Team Romney reminding Americans of why their candidate won the debate, and the policy differences between the two parties:
UPDATE - Reuters: Romney 47, Obama 44.