My younger daughter rebelled against her upbringing in oh-so-Blue Maryland by living and voting in swing states — first New Hampshire and now Florida. On Thursday, she told me that the Romney-Obama debate had seemingly transformed the political landscape in her little corner of South Florida. The non-political types who watched the debate were buzzing about Romney’s trouncing of Obama. And her fellow Romney supporters suddenly felt energized.
Sure enough, polling confirms that the debate changed minds in Florida. A post-debate Rasmussen poll gives Romney a 2 point lead in Florida. Last month, Rasmussen had Romney trailing by 2 points. And WeAskAmerica shows Romney ahead by 3 points in Florida (note, however, that in this poll the D/R/I split was 33/38/29). Last month, Romney trailed by 3 points in WeAskAmerica’s Florida poll.
In fact, a look at the Real Clear Politics compilation of Florida polls shows that Obama led Romney in 9 consecutive Florida polls taken before the debate (and this doesn’t include the September Rasmussen and WeAskAmerica polls). But Romney leads in the two polls taken since the debate.
The momentum in Florida could swing back to Obama, of course, especially if he’s able to reverse the impression left by the first debate in his next two encounters with Romney. But right now, Romney supporters in Florida have good reason to feel energized.