EXCLUSIVE POLL: Romney narrows gap on Obama in Michigan

(WXYZ) - Once again, the campaign for US President is a horse race in the battleground state of Michigan! 

The momentum has now shifted to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney because of his winning performance in the first of three scheduled debates against President Barack Obama. 

In September, the momentum was behind the President after he received a big boost from the Democratic National Convention.

In a new and exclusive poll for WXYZ, the Detroit Free Press, and our statewide media partners, 48 percent say they would vote for Democrat Obama if the election were held today. Forty-five percent of the 600 respondents say they would cast their ballot for Republican challenger Romney.

Seven percent are undecided. 

Obama leads among women and men; Romney is liked better among voters under age 50.

The numbers between the candidates have narrowed to only three points since the September poll where President Obama was ahead of Governor Romney by 10 points, 47 percent to 37 percent.

Lansing-based EPIC MRA has conducted both surveys. 

Pollster Bernie Porn said, "This is a significant presidential debate bump for Governor Romney."  He added, "Critics can say what they want but we know these are very reliable numbers because although they tightened up between Obama and Romney, Debbie Stabenow has increased her lead over Pete Hoekstra by 20 points, 55 percent to 35 percent, among the same survey respondents."

Ten percent of the people polled were undecided on the Senate race.

Last month, U.S. Senator Stabenow was beating former West Michigan Congressman Hoekstra by 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent.  Stabenow, the Democrat, is easily polling better among independent men and women than her Republican challenger.

The first presidential debate was viewed by more than 58 million people. 

When asked how many eligible voters in Michigan watched all of it, 44 percent said they did, and 66 percent gave the victory to Governor Mitt Romney.  Only 12 percent thought President Barack Obama had won. 

The poll was conducted October 4 – 6, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. 

READ THE POLL RESULTS BELOW

Thinking about this year's November general election, how would you vote on the following matchups?

If the election for President were held today, would you vote for the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney for President and Paul Ryan for Vice President, or the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama for President and Joe Biden for Vice President?

Obama – 48%
Romney – 45%
Undecided – 7%

If the election for U.S Senate were held today, would you vote for Pete Hoekstra the Republican or Debbie Stabenow the Democrat?

Stabenow – 55%
Hoekstra – 35%
Undecided – 10%

How much of the First Presidential Debate from Wednesday night between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were you able to watch on television?

All of it – 44%
Most of it – 17%
Only some of it – 16%
None of it – 23%

Based on your impressions from watching the debate, or from seeing, hearing or reading news coverage about the debate, who do you think won the first debate, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?

Romney won – 66%
Obama won – 12%
It was a tie – 8%
Undecided – 14%

Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat?

Democrat – 43%
Independent – 17%
Republican – 38% 

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