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The Susquehanna Poll (from the Susquehanna Polling and Research folks ) have just released their post-debate poll of Pennsylvania.
Bottom line: Romney is suddenly surging, with Obama leading by a mere two points — which is to say a “virtual dead heat.”
Concludes the poll: There is (my emphasis) “clear evidence the debates have helped solidify the Keystone State as a tossup election in November and one well within Romney’s reach.”
For those who love the weeds, here they are:
Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in the Keystone State by 2 points (47%-45%), with 3% voting for Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson. This close margin means the race continues to be a virtual dead heat within the survey’s +/-3.7% margin of error, particularly when compared with our last two surveys (Obama +2, on behalf of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review released 9/23, and Obama +1, on behalf of the Republican State Committee, released 9/18). Four percent of voters say they are still undecided in the current poll. When the undecided voters leaning towards a candidate are factored in (breaking 3:1 for Romney), the race narrows to a 1-point Obama lead (47-46). Plus, among those who say they have an “excellent” chance of voting (639 respondents out of 725 likely voters), Romney leads 47-46. These “excellent” voters combined with 86 respondents who say they have a “good” chance of voting make up the 725 likely voters sampled, while voters who said their chances of voting were “fair” or “poor” were disqualified from participation in the interview.
Perhaps the biggest movement in SP&R’s latest poll is the increase in Mitt Romney’s favorable image in Pennsylvania. In the current poll Romney now holds a 48% to 42% favorable to unfavorable rating (or +6 positive) — making this the first time in not only our polling but virtually any other publicly-released PA poll showing the GOP challenger with a largely positive image. For instance, prior to the current poll Romney’s average favorable image in numerous statewide polls conducted by our firm from June through September was 39%, while his average unfavorable rating was 43%. So the current poll represents a 9-point jump in his positive image to the point where Romney now enjoys an even better positive image than the incumbent President, who now has a 50% favorable to 47% unfavorable rating (or only +3 positive). Plus, 76% of voters said they watched the first televised debate, with a net 2% saying they switched their vote from Obama to Romney based on what they saw. This switch, plus the increase in favorable ratings for the GOP nominee is clear evidence the debates have helped solidify the Keystone State as a tossup election in November and one well within Romney’s reach.