Gallup's seven-day tracking poll of likely voters shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama by 7 percentage points, 52 percent to 45 percent. Should Obama panic? Maybe: even among registered voters -- which should be more friendly to Obama because Democrats tend to be no-shows on election day -- Romney is leading by 1 point, 48 percent to 47 percent. This average takes one day of post-debate views into account, so you'd expect Obama to do better, because he was widely seen has having won the debate. Instead, Romney gained 1 point over Wednesday. Gallup's three-day tracking poll shows Obama's approval rating ticking upward, but that's among all adults, not voters.
The polling experts of this election aren't blown away by the Gallup numbers. The New York Times' Nate Silver says the Gallup poll is cancelled out by other better polls for Obama. Real Clear Politics' Sean Trende tweets, "Guessing Gallup has a day with a 1-in-1000 sample (like Romney+15), and that everything else is normal variance." He suggests if Romney were really ahead that much, he'd be competing in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. Nevertheless, it's clear the race is much closer.