This is the second bipartisan survey for NPR conducted by Democracy Corps and Resurgent Republic. It is based on a national likely voter survey of 800 interviews, with an over-sample of interviews in the battleground states. The observations herein do not reflect the views of NPR or of Resurgent Republic.
This survey shows Obama with a 7-point lead nationally and 6 points ahead in the battleground. Obviously, that would be a stunning result, but we will wait to see whether this survey is an advance indicator, as the last one was.
Almost two-thirds of likely voters say they will watch the debate, and about one in ten say there is a serious chance their vote could be impacted. Nonetheless, we think this debate will more closely resemble those in 2004, which had minimal impact on the overall race, than those in 2000, which had a major impact.
The results here are produced by the toxic image of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney. As improbable as it seems, this is moving into 2008 territory on levels of partisanship and consolidation of the vote.
The most important finding here is the state of the economy, not the race. There is some evidence of an improved national economic climate, of Obama taking a real lead over Romney on the economy, and of the dominance of Obama's middle class economic narrative tested head-to-head against Romney’s.
It invites Romney to change his economic course tonight and battle for the future.
The frequency questionnaire can be read here.
Read the NPR article here.