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How good are Mitt Romney’s recent poll numbers? Republicans even believe them—for now.

Mitt Romney has definitely received an unprecedented boost from the first debate that has erased the boost the president received from the Democratic National Convention and the release of Mitt Romney’s ‘47 percent’ tape.

But the fundamentals of this race have not changed. Mitt Romney is still Romney. The Republican Party is still the Republican Party. And President Obama is still President Obama.

Both campaigns said this race was going to be close and the media has been hoping that would be true. In addition to huge spending from Super PACs and outside groups, Republicans have undertaken a huge effort to stop Democrats from voting in key states. The courts have mostly blocked these efforts, but voters may have been intimidated. We won’t know until Election Day.

What’s clear is that President Obama will probably still be re-elected. Here’s why.

Mitt Romney Is Still Unpopular

Romney just hit a record high in his favorable ratings at 47 percent. But 51 percent still view him unfavorably, putting him “underwater.” The only other presidential candidates who were underwater—Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush and John Kerry—all lost.

Mitt Romney’s Policies Are Still Unpopular

Mitt Romney supports extending the Bush tax breaks for the rich and turning Medicare into a voucher plan. He says he wants to cut taxes for the middle class but experts say his plan can’t do that without exploding the deficit. And his Medicare plan will cost all Americans more for the Medicare seniors currently receive. If you’re 65, it will cost you $11,100 more than current Medicare. A 48-year-old will pay $124,600, and a 29 year-old will pay $331,200.

President Obama Still Has The Advantage

Mitt Romney’s debate bump seems to have quickly met the President’s jobs bump. While his chances of being elected have skyrocketed recently, Mitt is still the underdog and will have to overcome the big fundraising and field advantage the President’s team put together over the last few months.

Image credit: FiveThirtyEight

Romney Now Has Massive Debate Expectations

Going into the first debate, President Obama was expected by a large majority of voters to wipe the floor with Mitt Romney. The situation has completely flipped. President Obama now knows the Mitt Romney he is facing and so do voters. Much of what Romney said in the first debate has been debunked, and the president—who hasn’t been in a “debate” situation since he was elected four years ago—will have a chance, in the second and third debates, to give the performance voters were expecting. And that one of the debates is a town hall where actual voters ask questions requires Romney to really shine in a situation he has not before.

The President Is Popular And The Economy Is Improving

As Mitt Romney hits “record” popularity, the president’s favorability at 55 percent is higher than it has been in two years. Additionally unemployment is under eight percent for the first time since he took office. The housing market is improving and consumer confidence is up. All in all, America is outperforming most of the world. The economy isn’t nearly perfect for the president, but we’re in a much better situation than most expected us to be.

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