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Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll: Romney takes the lead in post-debate period

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 10/4-7. Likely voters. MoE ±2.72% (9/27-30 results)

The candidates for President are Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. If the election was today, who would you vote for?

Obama 47 (49)
Romney 49 (45)

That's a pretty disastrous six-point net swing in just a week, and the first time we've ever had Romney in the lead. It is inline with all other national polling showing Romney making gains in the wake of his debate performance last week.

Both the Gallup and Rasmussen trackers saw their Romney bounce evaporate on Sunday. In this poll, 75 percent of the sample was gathered on Thursday and Friday, at the height of Romney's bounce. This is because PPP does call-backs: It identifies a random range of numbers and begins calling them on Thursday. If they get no answer, they keep trying the same numbers on subsequent days until they get the required number of responses (we ask for at least 1,000). This avoids the old tropes about young liberals being out partying on Friday nights, while conservatives are at church on Sunday mornings, etc.

So this week, 47 percent of responses were on Thursday, 28 percent on Friday, 17 percent on Saturday, and just 8 percent on Sunday. Romney won Thursday 49-48 and Friday 49-44 before losing steam over the weekend. While Romney won Thursday and Friday by a combined 2.5 points, he won Saturday and Sunday by just 0.5 percent.

So where did Romney gain? Among women, Obama went from a 15-point lead to a slimmer 51-45 edge. Meanwhile, Romney went from winning independents 44-41 to winning them 48-42. And just like the Ipsos poll showed last week, Romney further consolidated his base. They went from supporting him 85-13 last week, to 87-11 this week while Obama lost some Democrats, going from 88-9 last week, to 87-11 this week.

Several other polls, Pew chief among them, saw a big increase in the number of respondents self-identifying as Republicans—a sign of increased intensity on that side of the aisle. Our poll confirms that intensity boost. Last week, 65 percent of conservatives were "very excited" about voting this year. This week, it's 74 percent. That's a significant shift. Liberals also gained, but only marginally so, from 68 to 70 percent.

Clearly, none of this is irreversible, and it'll bear watching the daily trackers to see if Romney continues to fade or not. And obviously, next week's numbers will further clarify the shape of the race.

Regardless, it shows that Obama's debate performance was an epic blunder. Romney gave his partisans a reason to get excited about him and they've responded. It should come as no surprise that people like to fight for people who are fighting for them.