Pundits on both sides of the aisle have said that Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate, but now Ohio voters are saying Romney is winning their critical swing state with a 51-48 percent lead over President Obama in the first post-debate poll of likely voters.
The post-debate survey completed by Rasmussen Reports has Obama with a 50-49 overall lead in the Buckeye State (well within the margin of error), but what will evoke high-fives in the Romney campaign office is his razor-thin lead among likely voters.
Even better for the Romney camp is among the 83 percent who have already made up their minds, Romney leads 52 to 48 percent.
Ohio voters, like most of Americans, see the economy is one of the driving issues in this election, and 50 percent see the economy improving if Romney wins the White House and the GOP keeps their majority in the House and regains the Senate.
But the news is not as rosy if the Democrats win because just 34 percent see a brighter economic outlook if Obama wins re-election and Democrats control Congress.
In Florida, both Rasmussen and WeAskAmerica polls are showing that Romney is inching ahead with two to three point leads in the Sunshine State. In Virginia, things are somewhat tighter with Romney leading by one point in one survey and three points in another. But as a reminder, all of these polls are within the margin of error.
Several articles over the past week have highlighted the fact that the GOP was lagging in absentee ballots in Ohio, but now Secrets is reporting that gap is closing after the debate, which is a further indication that Romney may be on an upswing.
President Obama's lackluster debate performance, combined with an uptick in Romney's numbers is making the Obama camp rethink some issues and strategy.
"There is some strategic judgment that has to be made, and we'll make it," said David Axelrod, senior adviser to the Obama campaign, on a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I'm sure that he will consider his approach moving forward."
Rasmussen Reports conducted the survey of 500 likely voters in Ohio on October 4, 2012. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.