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Friday, September 7, 2012

Obama Bounces Up to 52% Approval, 48% to 45% Over Romney

President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party look as if they are getting at least a preliminary bounce from their convention. Today's (Friday, Sept. 7) Gallup Daily tracking update puts Obama's job approval rating at 52%, the highest it has been since May 2011, after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama has also moved to a 48% to 45% lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters in the election tracking, up from Obama's 47% to 46% margin over the last nine days. 

Gallup averages the job approval rating on a three-day rolling average, meaning that today's report encompasses interviewing conducted over the three days of the Democratic Convention in Charlotte -- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Gallup's report of presidential election preferences are, on the other hand, based on a seven-day rolling average stretching from last Friday, the day after the GOP Convention ended, through last night. 

This uptick in these two indicators stands in contrast to tracking during the Republican Convention, during which there was no discernible bounce on the ballot tracking. Gallup does not track other measures on Romney that would be comparable to the job approval figure for Obama. 

The current data are quite preliminary and for the most part don't reflect the influence of Obama's late Thursday night speech, if any.

Key focus points now will be the ultimate magnitude and duration of the apparent Democratic bounce going forward. By the middle of next week we will have a good feel for both of these dimensions. It is possible that these upticks are short-lived and that the race will devolve back to a parity by next week. On the other hand, if Obama builds on and sustains his higher job approval rating and lead over Romney, it could signal a possible resetting of the presidential race as it enters the remaining three-and-a-half weeks before the first debate on Oct. 3.

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