Romney Debate Bounce: Dead Heat With Obama in Key States

National   Steven Ertelt   Oct 5, 2012   |   11:08AM    Washington, DC

The bounce Mitt Romney received from winning the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama has kicked in and he has pulled even with Obama in two of the most important battleground states, Ohio and Virginia.

In Virginia, according to a new Rasmussen poll released today, Romney technically leads — though the lead is within the margin of error.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters, taken last night, shows Romney earning 49% support to Obama’s 48%. Three percent (3%) remain undecided. Three weeks ago, it was Obama 49%, Romney 48%, highlighting the closeness of the contest in the state. In August, the two were tied at 47% each. Since April, Romney has consistently earned 45% to 49% support in Virginia, while Obama has picked up 44% to 49% of the vote.

Both candidates earn nearly 90% support from voters in their respective parties. Romney posts a 51% to 44% lead among voters not affiliated with either major party.

“Obama became the first Democrat to carry Virginia since 1964 when he won the state by a 53% to 46% margin over John McCain in 2008. Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters in the state now approve of the job he is doing, while 47% disapprove. This includes 38% who Strongly Approve and 41% who Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a much better job approval rating in the state than he earns nationally,” the polling firm explains. “Fifty-four percent (54%) of Virginia voters now have a favorable opinion of Romney, including 35% with a Very Favorable one. He’s viewed unfavorably by 45%, with 28% who hold a Very Unfavorable view of him.”

“Among all Virginia voters, the candidates also are tied when it comes to the key issue of the economy. Forty-eight percent (48%) trust the president more when it comes to handling the economy, while 47% trust Romney more. Three weeks ago, Romney had a 49% to 47% edge in voter trust on the economy,” Rasmussen noted.

Rasmussen also finds Romney leading in Florida:  The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Florida Likely Voters shows Romney with 49% of the vote to Obama’s 47%. Three percent (3%) are undecided at this point.

Last month, the race was Obama 48%, Romney 46%.  This is the third straight month the candidates have been within two points of each other. The spread has been three points or less in the Sunshine State in surveys since February,” Rasmussen said.

Ninety-three percent (93%) of Likely Voters in the state say they’re certain to vote next month. Among these voters, Romney leads 51% to 45%. Ninety-three percent (93%) of Obama supporters are certain of their vote at this time, as are 87% of Romney voters.

In Ohio, Obama technically leads 50-49 percent, but that is also within the margin of error. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided.

However, ninety percent (90%) of Romney supporters are certain they will vote for him and not change their mind. Only 80% of Obama supporters are that certain. Obama posted a 47% to 46% lead in Ohio in early September. Romney and Obama have been running within two points or less of each other in the Buckeye State in surveys since February.

Among voters in the state not affiliated with either major party, Romney now leads 58% to 40%.

On key issues, the voters are divided as to who they trust, Rasmussen notes.

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“Forty-nine percent (49%) of Ohio voters trust Romney more than the president when it comes to handling the economy. Forty-five percent (45%) trust the president,” the polling firm said. “As for national security, 48% now trust Romney more to handle it, while just as many (47%) trust the president more. But last month, Obama had a five-point edge in trust – 49% to 45% – in this area.”

“Obama beat GOP nominee John McCain by a 52% to 47% margin to carry Ohio in 2008. Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters in the state now approve of the job he is doing as president, while 50% disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 30% and Strong Disapproval from 42%. This marks little change from the previous survey,” Rasmussen said. “Romney is now viewed favorably by 54% of Ohio voters and unfavorably by 44%. This includes 37% with a Very Favorable view of him and 32% with a Very Unfavorable one. This is a slightly more positive assessment than voters expressed in September.”

The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Ohio and Virginia was conducted on October 4, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.