To the extent that the new CNN and Fox News polls show President Obama pulling away from Mitt Romney, Obama’s gain is due entirely to more negative feelings about Romney. First the top line numbers:
CNN has Obama gaining 3 points, for a 7 point lead and Fox has Obama gaining 5 points for a 9 point lead. Now where did those extra margins come from? Not from more favorable opinions of Obama’s performance as president.
CNN actually has Obama losing a point on approval while Fox has him gaining slightly. But now look at how Romney’s favorables have performed:
He went from +6 to -1 in the CNN poll (a -7 point swing) and form +12 to +1 in the Fox poll (a -11 point swing). And it has been independents that have soured on Romney the most. Here is the Fox News vote preference breakdown:
Romney’s position among Republicans and Democrats was virtually unchanged. But he went from -4 among Independents to -11 (a -7 point swing). And why did independents sour on Romney? Obama has driven his unfavorables up substantially:
Again, Romney’s position among Republicans was unchanged and Democrats now view him a bit more unfavorably, but the major movement is among independents who went from +12 pro-favorable opinion of Romney to just +1, a -11 point swing.
Obama has spent millions on ads like the ones below in key swing states. They seem to be working: