Yesterday I noted that, with two days of post-debate tracking poll results now in, it was starting to look as if that final presidential debate had killed the momentum Mitt Romney seemed to have going into it. Now, with three days of tracking poll results in, things look, if anything, a bit worse for Romney than they looked yesterday.
Yesterday the key number was 0.6. Eight tracking polls that had reported results for Wednesday -- two days after the debate -- showed an average movement of 0.6 points in Obama's direction compared to the final pre-debate polling numbers they had reported.
Today's numbers, which include polling done three days after the debate, showed an average movement of 1.0 points toward Obama relative to the final pre-debate polls.
Two asterisks, one that works in Romney's favor and one that works in Obama's favor:
First, on Romney's behalf, it should be said that the poll that shows the strongest net gain for Obama -- the RAND poll -- has the most eccentric methodology. It interviews the exact same people every day, week after week. Presumably the knowledge that they'll be interviewed each day makes them behave atypically--by, say, focusing more than the average voter on news about the candidates. If we got rid of this poll (which I originally included because it was one of the eight polls summarized by Nate Silver of The New York Times), Obama's net gain would drop from 1.0 to 0.6.