Go back and read our polling round-up from yesterday to whet your appetite for this clip. The public opinion landscape is unlikely to shift significantly in the next 24 hours, after which the effects of last night's debate may become clearer. (For reasons stated in my wrap-up post, I suspect we'll see negligible lasting impact). With those numbers as a backdrop, here's loyal liberal partisan Paul Begala acknowledging reality on CNN, confirming that the electoral map is getting a bit redder and narrower for the president:
So the Democrats' Charlotte convention 'strategery' worked out pretty well, huh? One additional note: Just before the conversation turned to the Tar Heel State, CNN flashed a graphic stating that Obama is leading in New Hampshire by eight points. That's just precious. The president just campaigned in that state a few days ago, which is not something incumbent presidents do in states that they're winning comfortably. Indeed, recent polling has shown New Hampshire as a neck-and-neck toss-up.
UPDATE - With exactly two weeks to go, Rasmussen's daily tracker ticks up toward Gallup's recent numbers. Romney now leads Obama 50/46 among likely voters nationally, and pulls out to a 50/45 advantage in the swing states. The key figure in both polls? Fifty.
UPDATE II - Democrat-aligned PPP's latest: Romney 49, Obama 47, with a D+6 sample, leading indies by nine points. Ace has some additional notes:
Obama's favorable/unfavorable is underwater, 47-49. Romney's is above water and ahead of Obama's: 50/45. With women he's 47/47. Obama's well underwater with men, though, 41-55. I am a convert to believing favorability might be the single most important number in a poll. I suppose it's not as important as the head-to-head. But it's close. Obama's job approval is 45/51. Now, among Independents: Mitt Romney has a fav/unfav 50/45. Obama's fav/unfav among independents is way underwater, at 42/51. And Romney leads in independents, 50-41.
Translation: Romney's winning, and has more upside.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography