President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greet each other during the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. / Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images
(USA TODAY) - Mitt Romney clearly got a boost from his strong debate performance last week and narrowed the gap with President Obama in Gallup's daily tracking poll.
Gallup's Jeffrey Jones reports today that Romney erased the five-point advantage that Obama had among registered voters in the three days before the Denver debate. In three days of tracking after the Oct. 3 event, Romney pulled even.
Now, with the race more competitive, Obama and Romney are essentially tied. Obama leads Romney by 49% to 46% among registered voters, but the difference is within the poll's margin of error.
Jones writes that the shift is "significant, given the competitiveness of the race throughout this presidential campaign year and the fact that debates rarely transform presidential races."
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