From The Hill:
Mitt Romney has overtaken President Obama in a Public Policy Polling survey released on Tuesday.
Romney won 49 percent support from likely voters in the poll, compared to 47 percent for Obama.
It’s the first time all year Romney has led in the poll, which was conducted on behalf of liberal Daily Kos website and the Service Employees International Union. Obama led 49-45 percent in the group’s previous poll, conducted before last week’s debate.
The PPP poll, like the Pew poll cited below, was taken in the immediate aftermath of last week’s debate.
In a new nationwide Pew poll taken in the immediate wake of last week’s debate, Mitt Romney holds a four-point lead over Barack Obama. Until that’s confirmed by other polling, count me unconvinced. Yes, Obama did poorly in the debate, but there’s little to support the contention that a 12-point swing took place — Pew’s pre-debate numbers gave Obama an eight-point lead, a little on the high side — or that the debate completely erased Obama’s 18-point lead among women, as Pew reports.
There’s no question that Romney got a good bump out of the debate. The question is how large and whether it lasts. Gallup and Rasmussen provide evidence that it has begun to fade, perhaps because of the good jobs report, but time will tell.
And what inspired this apparent shift in Romney strategy and fortunes? In an interesting new story at Politico, the change is attributed to an intervention on Romney’s behalf by his eldest son, Tagg, and his wife, Ann, in which they demanded a more moderate approach.
“Even now, many Romney officials wonder whether the change can be sustained. In essence, Romney is trying to undergo a political metamorphosis — to shed an image of personal stiffness, and to emerge loose and willing to compromise. Romney, advisers concede, is at his worst when improvising — and this shift is the biggest improvisation of the campaign. Right now, Romney is described as going with the flow, trying to quickly grow into this new public persona, most notably with his decision to tell personal stories on the stump.
Campaign officials said any change will be confined by Romney’s own cautious nature. And they are candid that their electoral map still looks terrible: Romney is behind in nearly every vital state. Ohio still looks very tough to win and New Hampshire, once a possibility, looks very bleak, officials say.”
So we’ll see. Again, there’s no question the narrative arc of the campaign has been altered. As that great political strategist Yogi Berra once noted, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
– Jay Bookman