President Obama had the edge in Gallup polling immediately prior to last week's debate—but that changed after Mitt Romney walked away with Wednesday's debate. Registered voters are now evenly split, 47% for Romney and 47% for Obama, Gallup's daily tracking shows. Gallup's most recent poll, a seven-day rolling average as of Saturday, shows Obama with a slight edge of 49% to 46%. That poll takes into account the three days prior to the debate, when Obama had a five-percentage-point lead, as well as the three days after the debate, when Romney caught up.
The bottom line: The presidential race is now more competitive, and the gap between the candidates is narrowing. Gallup also found that 72% of all debate watchers, regardless of party affiliation, believed Romney performed better than Obama. Just 20% declared Obama the winner—and that 52-point win is the largest ever measured by Gallup in post-debate polls. Among Republicans, that percentage increases to 97%, but even among Democrats, 49% deemed Romney the winner compared to just 39% who ranked Obama higher.