Presidential Polls 2012: After Debate, Polls Show Romney Gaining in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia


New polls taken in several swing states after the presidential debate in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday are in, and it's good news for Mitt Romney and his campaign. 

More than one poll released on Friday shows Romney gaining significant traction in several key swing states. These are not only the first polls taken since the debate, but also the first polls since the release of several controversial videos of President Obama from 2002 and 2007, both of which were posted on The Daily Caller. 

The latest Rasmussen poll shows Romney now leading in Virginia, 49% to 48%. While it is a narrow lead, it is a huge turnaround from the near 5 point lead that Obama was showing in the state only a week ago. 

Obama has also lost a considerable amount of ground in Ohio over a short period of time. In a sample of 500 likely voters, Rasmussen now has Obama ahead of Romney 50% to 49%. 

Additional polling information shows more encourage news for the Romney campaign. Among the 92% of all voters in the state that are certain to vote on Election Day, Romney now holds a 51% to 49% lead. When it comes to the 83% of voters who have already made up their minds, Romney leads 52% to 48%. In September, Romney led with likely Ohio voters on the economy, 48% to 46%. As of October 4th, Romney now leads President Obama on the economy 49% to 45%.

Additional data also shows that the Republicans have cut the Democrats early voting advantage off at the knees. According to American Majority Action, the once lopsided number of absentee ballots has been evened out substantially. While in 2008 33% of all absentee ballots were for Democrats and only 19% for Republicans, today Democrats are taking in 29% of all absentee ballots. The Republicans are taking in 24%. 

In certain heavily populated Ohio counties like Franklin and Hamilton, which are home to Columbus and Cincinnati, the GOP have only expanded their leads. In Cuyahoga Couty, which is home to Cleveland, the GOP have closed the gap to only 6 points. Aside from Romney's decisive debate victory on Wednesday in Denver, this rebound in Ohio could be attributed to the GOP candidates support for America's coal industry, something that President Obama has attacked over the years.

As for Obama's once-seemingly guaranteed victory in Florida? Well, his lead is quickly evaporating there as well.Where he once held a large lead, Obama is now only ahead of Romney by 1 point in Florida. Breitbart now has Romney up ahead of Obama in Florida according to one poll, 49% to 46%. While possibly an outlier for now, it is almost certainly indicative of the fact that Romney is gaining ground fast. 

It appears that this one poll is not an outlier, because of the fact that Rasmussen today also has Romney now ahead in Florida, 49% to 47%. 

While Romney may not yet hold commanding leads in the swing states, it is obvious where the trends are. Despite the fact that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% on Friday (Which many people are now claiming that fuzzy math, especially due to large numbers of people who have stopped looking for work entirely), Romney is leveling the playing field. A second debate performance like the one at the University of Denver on Wednesday, and Romney could find himself solidly in first place. 

Time will tell, but for now one thing is for certain. Romney halted the Obama train with his victory at the Denver debate, and is now in a position where he could soon overtake him in the polls.