DENVER -- Republican Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama 49-45 percent in a new survey of likely voters from Pew Research, the latest and strongest indication that last Wednesday's debate here may have been a serious setback to the president's reelection chances.
The survey from Pew Research, released Monday afternoon, shows a major turnaround for Romney, who trailed Obama by nine points last month in another Pew survey.
"Coming out of the debate, Mitt Romney’s personal image has improved," Pew explains. "His favorable rating has hit 50 percent among registered voters for the first time in Pew Research Center surveys and has risen five points since September. At the same time, Obama’s personal favorability rating has fallen from 55 percent to 49percent."
Romney is also making gains with women, Hispanics and younger voters.
Daily tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup also released Monday have the race dead-even, nationally.
Whatever the poll numbers, Romney's debate performance has energized his supporters.
"We've got people coming out of our ears," RNC Chairman Reince Preibus told FOX31 Denver Monday. "Because of the debate last week, we've seen an explosion of people coming into our offices and ready to fight."
Following the debate Wednesday night, Colorado's Romney Victory Office saw nearly twice as many volunteers come in to help than had been recruited or expected.
On Saturday, the campaign had to double the number of phones in its Jefferson County office to accommodate the influx of new volunteers, a campaign staffer told FOX31 Denver.
Democrats, however, are trying to remain calm, at least outwardly.
While Obama has taken a more aggressive, negative tone on the stump, he reassured donors in Los Angeles Sunday night that he would close the deal in the final month.
Polls still show Obama slightly ahead in Ohio, although by a slimmer margin than he was before the debate.
If he keeps the Buckeye State in his column, the pressure remains on Romney to win nearly every other battleground state, including Colorado, in order to surpass the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.AlertMe