A national poll of registered voters shows that President Obama has lost a five point lead over Mitt Romney in the wake of their first debate. In the three days prior to the debate, the president was enjoying a five point lead. Then that darn Denver altitude left him listless and impotent, and even a majority of registered Democrats who watched the debate agreed that Romney handed his ass to him. Overall, 72% said Romney did a better job than Obama, with 20% arguing that Obama somehow won. Romney's 52-point win is the largest Gallup has EVER measured—the biggest Gallup win previously was 42 points for Bill Clinton over George H.W. Bush in 1992.
The tracking poll was conducted from a survey of 1,387 registered voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. According to Gallup:
The debate appears to have affected voters to some degree, given the narrowing of the race in the three days after the debate compared with the three days prior. Still, the impact was not so strong that it changed the race to the point where Romney emerged as the leader among registered voters. Rather, at least in the first three days of Gallup tracking after the debate, the race is tied.
But even that small movement is significant, given the competitiveness of the race throughout this presidential campaign year and the fact that debates rarely transform presidential election races. However, the generally positive unemployment report released on Friday may serve to blunt some of Romney's post-debate momentum.
In any case, with a month to go before Election Day, the outcome of the 2012 presidential election is still very much in doubt.
In case you missed it, Saturday Night Live had a pretty persuasive explanation for Barry O's ineffectualness: