For anyone wondering, Romney’s 47% comments definitely hurt him. But it’s helpful to look at the tracking poll numbers to understand HOW it hurt him. The graph below shows the Rasmussen and Gallup Tracking Poll midpoints. As I explained in a previous post, comparing midpoints is a better way to observe the impact of specific events. The purple vertical line marks 17 September, the day that the 47% video was released.
Starting the next day, you see Obama’s support rise to new levels in both Gallup and Rasmussen. Concurrently, Romney’s support drops in Gallup, but does not drop in Rasmussen. Unlike the convention bumps, these new levels of support seem to be holding.
What to make of this? Well, remember that Gallup polls registered voters while Rasmussen reports likely voters. So support of registered voters swung about 2% from Romney to Obama. While Obama also gained about 2% in likely voters, Romney’s support among likely voters held steady.
It appears that Romney’s firm supporters largely agreed with his comments. However, his comments did piss off some portion of less enthusiastic Obama supporters, making them more likely to vote, at least for now.
Over the next few days we will see the results of the debate filter into the results. Todays’ Rasmussen results were the first to include post-election data, and did not show a change. However, the Rasmussen results on Sunday will be the first composed entirely of post-election surveys, while the Gallup results will take until next Thursday to reflect all post-election data. Watch these two release dates: 7 Oct for Rasmussen, and 11 Oct for Gallup. That will tell us a lot about where this race is headed.