A report one week ago showing that unemployment had dipped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent seems to be providing no help to President Obama, as polls show Gov. Mitt Romney hanging on to the bounce he got from his performance in the October 3 debate.
Three national polls taken after the unemployment report was released last Friday – by Rasmussen, Fox News, and Monmouth/Survey USA – each show a one-point Romney lead over Obama.
An earlier Gallup poll performed in the days just after the debate, which included surveying done both before and after the jobs data were released, had put the race at a tie.
The unemployment report, released just about 36 hours after Romney dominated Obama in their Oct. 3 debate, gave a lift to Democrats despondent over Obama’s performance. Some believed it could reverse Romney’s inevitable post-debate bounce in the polls.
But that does not appear to be the case. The RealClearPolitics average of national polls the day of the debate had Obama ahead by three points. Today, Romney is ahead in the average by one point, suggesting a four-point bounce stemming from his debate performance.
The unemployment report was controversial, with some conservatives charging the numbers had been cooked to help Obama. Though only 114,000 jobs were created in September – not enough to keep up with population growth – the unemployment rate declined. This could be because the unemployment rate is calculated from a separate survey from the jobs report – one that is smaller, less reliable, and more volatile.