Romney will ride huge polling bump into second presidential debate

Though mainstream opinion was mixed about the winner of last week???s vice presidential debate face-off, Republican candidate Mitt Romney is still enjoying a huge bump in polling after a decisive victory in the first presidential debate earlier this month.

After a no-contest showdown called by some the strongest debate win of all time, Romney???s polling numbers started rising … and haven???t stopped yet.

According to Real Clear Politics polling averages from Monday, Romney edges out President Barack Obama by the narrowest margin in the overall race, having dipped slightly after enjoying a lead of more than a percentage point in the week following the debate.

Where the Romney debate bump is most pronounced is in key battleground states such as Florida, where his polling average rose from 46 to 49 percent in the first 10 days following the debate, while Obama continued a polling free fall in the state that began on the first of October.

In North Carolina, a bump of nearly two points for Romney following the first debate was matched with a 2.5-point tumble for Obama in the same time frame. Romney now enjoys almost a 5-percentage point lead in the blue-leaning state, as well as his highest polling numbers all year.

In Virginia, Romney gained almost two percentage points post-debate, narrowing the polling gap to within a point, even while Obama???s polling numbers have also risen in the state.

Though Romney???s knockout performance is responsible for much of this surge in enthusiasm for the Republican ticket, don???t underestimate the significance of running mate Paul Ryan???s serious-minded and confident mien in his debate showdown last week.

In Ryan???s home state of Wisconsin, the Republican ticket saw a polling bump of two percentage points on the day of the event, continuing a steady rise since the beginning of October, and putting the race well within ???too close to call??? territory.

On Tuesday night, Romney will be facing a cornered opponent who knows he did poorly in the first showdown and will be pulling out all the stops to win. But if Romney can reprise his masterful and authoritative performance from the first debate, the bump that follows could carry him right into the presidency.