The survey, released Tuesday, was conducted October 5-8, entirely after last Wednesday's first presidential debate. Since non-partisan, live operator polls of likely voters in Ohio conducted prior to the debate indicated Obama with a 7-10 point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor, the new CNN survey suggests that Romney got a bounce following the debate.
That's a pretty significant swing- between 3 - 6 points.
Here's the broader trend- RCP shows Romney trending up for the last 2 or 3 weeks, with an acceleration after the Debate last Wednesday.
Now, I like it when polls show my guy in the lead, and I don't like it when they show the other guy in the lead. That's natural and understandable. But polls are an imperfect snapshot of current mood, not some Word from Heaven. So when we look at polls we have to look at two things. Friend of the Blog Dave in Florida does the unenviable task of pulling apart the internals and showing what the polls would say if they were based in reality. That's one of the things. The other is the trends.
When one guy is moving up in the polls, and the other down, consistently for a couple of weeks, which of them has momentum? Which one is on a path to victory? Which has had "really a very bad week?"
This particular CNN poll is a splash of cold water- it is, we can't pretend it isn't. But even in that splash of cold water, it's carrying good news. The trend is still in our favor.