Presidential Debate Polls 2012: Romney and Obama are Tied at 47 Percent, But Romney is the One Trending

Eight months ago, Mitt Romney was presumed to be another John McCain: a moderate that would be reluctant to go on the attack. With the word on the street being that Obama wanted to run against Romney, it is now apparent that the president and his campaign were completely unprepared for the kind of aggressive campaign that Romney would bring.

President Obama is in a very difficult spot for an incumbent. His approval ratings are under 50%. No matter what the challenger may be polling, the incumbent never wants to be below 49-50%. 

A month and a half ago, President Obama was enjoying a small bounce from the Democratic National Convention. Now on the day of the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Obama is slipping behind.

A new WSJ/NBC News poll shows the race tied up at 47% each. Throughout most of the year, whether the pollsters in charge oversampled Democrats or not, Romney has been consistently behind in the WSJ/NBC News poll. Now Romney has tied it up.

Of course, that’s just the beginning of the bad news for the Obama campaign.

Real Clear Politics has the race statistically tied up when all of the polls are averaged together, with Romney holding a slight lead over Obama, 47.3% to 47%. Rasmussen scores the races with Romney leading Obama, 49% to 47%. Gallup shows a bigger gap among likely voters, with Romney leading 52% to 45%.

The crucial swing state of Ohio is in a statistical dead head, with Obama only up by 1 point. Other crucial swing states like Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina continue to tilt. Even Pennsylvania and New Hampshire have leveled out over the past week, so much so that the Romney campaign has begun to devote resources there, in hopes of tipping the scales in their favor.

Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Wisconsin continue to be too close to call. Each of these states is crucial if Obama wants to break the 270 barrier.

Romney holds a 10-point lead among men, while Obama’s lead among women nationally has shrunk to only 8 points.

Everything is on the line as Governor Romney and President Obama take in as much info on foreign policy that they can before today’s debate. The slightest misstep by Romney could be enough to slow down his ever-increasing momentum. A stalemate or a loss by President Obama would be disastrous, as either or would do little to stop the Romney machine from churning to victory.

Be sure to check back here around tonight for live coverage of the third and final presidential debate tonight at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.