Mitt Romney and President Obama debated for the first time at the University of Denver.
(Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)
by Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
President Obama leads Mitt Romney in Gallup's daily tracking poll, after the GOP presidential nominee got an initial boost following his strong debate performance last week.
The economic news released Friday, showing the unemployment rate dipping to 7.8%, appears to have helped Obama.
"Romney definitely improved in Friday and Saturday polling among registered voters, but Obama did better Saturday and Sunday nights," says Jeffrey Jones of Gallup.
The president now leads, 50% to 45%, among registered voters in the seven-day rolling average for Oct. 1-7, according to Gallup.
In polling conducted for two nights after the Denver debate on Oct. 3, Romney was able to pull even with Obama among registered voters. But Obama did better over the weekend, after the jobless rate dipped below 8% for the first time since January 2009.
Among those who watched the debate, the Gallup tracking poll shows a whopping 72% to 20% of Americans believe Romney did a better job than Obama as they sparred over the economy, jobs and the role of government. That also goes for Democrats: By 49% to 39%, those in the president's party who watched the debate say Romney did better in Denver.
The next presidential debate is Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. CNN's Candy Crowley will moderate the town hall-style debate.