Republican nominee Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama by 4 percentage points among likely voters in a Pew Research Center poll that shows the Republican challenger getting a bounce from last week’s debate.
The survey taken Oct. 4-7, following the Oct. 3 presidential debate in Denver, gave the former Massachusetts governor 49% among likely voters and Obama 45%. Among registered voters, 66% said Romney won the debate and 20% said Obama did.
A Pew poll of likely voters taken Sept. 12-16 gave Obama a 51% to 43% lead, the widest margin of any nominee since Bill Clinton in 1996.
The latest Pew poll showed Romney even with Obama among women likely voters at 47% apiece, while leading among men, 51% to 43%. Last month, Obama held an 18- point edge among women, 56% to 38%, and trailed by 2 points among men, with 48% backing Romney and 46 supporting the president. Independent likely voters backed Romney, 46% to 42%; they split 45% to 44% for Obama in September.
Registered voters said Romney would do better on improving the job situation, 49% to 41%. Last month, they said Obama would be better, 46% to 45%.
The poll of 1,112 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Among 1,201 registered voters, the margin of error was 3.3 percentage points.
Among the likely voters, 36% identified as Republican, 31% as Democratic and 30% as independent. The September poll was 39% Democratic and 29% Republican.
Party identification is fluid and can change from poll to poll, depending on voter attitudes about the candidates, said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup poll.
“Your age doesn’t fluctuate except once a year,” Newport said. Pollsters, though, “can call people back and you’ll see significant shifting” in whether they identify with a party or consider themselves independent, he said.
An Oct. 4-5 Gallup poll found “roughly 2 in 3 Americans reporting that they watched the Oct. 3 debate, similar to what Gallup measured for each of the three 2008 presidential debates,” the polling organization’s Jeffrey Jones said today (Oct. 8).
“Those who viewed the debate overwhelmingly believe Romney did a better job than Obama, 72 percent to 20 percent,” Jones said. “Republicans were nearly unanimous in judging Romney the winner. But even Democrats rated Romney as doing a better job than Obama, 49 percent to 39 percent.”