If Barack Obama won Tuesday night’s debate on debate points, initial post-debate reactions seem to show Romney winning it on data points. Gallup, in the first poll to use reactions taken after the second debate, shows Romney expanding his lead from what was already his widest lead of the cycle yet (51-45) to the even more commanding 52-45. This is a full seven point gap. From Gallup’s explanation:
All registered voters are asked: “Suppose the presidential election were held today, and it included Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s candidates and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the Republican Party’s candidates. Who would you vote for [ROTATED: Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats (or) Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republicans]?” Those who are undecided are further asked if they lean more toward Obama and Biden or Romney and Ryan and their leanings are incorporated into the results.
These results are for likely voters, who are the respondents Gallup deems most likely to vote based on their responses to a series of questions asking about current voting intentions, thought given to the election, and past voting behavior. Each seven-day rolling average is based on telephone interviews with approximately 2,700 likely voters; margin of error is ±2 percentage points.
Romney also leads by a point among registered voters. By way of comparison, Barack Obama led John McCain by just two points at this point in the cycle in 2008. In 2000, George W. Bush led Al Gore by 6, and was still hovering below 50 percent. And in 2004, the last time an incumbent President was up for election? Romney’s lead is almost as wide as the incumbent’s was, then. Bush led by 8 at this point in 2004.