The title tells you where I think this race is 18 days from election day. Razor close and dependent on GOTV.
Over the past several days Gallup has moved out to a lonely spot among the national polls showing Mitt Romney up by 7 yesterday and by 6 today. While Gallup now shows Romney up 51-45 in its seven day tracker, Rasmussen shows a dead even tie at 48-48 in its three day tracker. However Rasmussen says that in the two days since debate, Romney has been slightly ahead. Among the other polls in the RCP average, none show Obama by more than 3 points and none show him at or above 50%.
One important note: Its my understanding that Rasmussen weights for party ID. Its my further understanding that he re-norms at the beginning of each month. If I am correct then it means that the Rasmussen numbers are based on party ID numbers that were generated prior to the first, very consequential, debate.
When Rasmussen re-norms on November 1, we may well see a bump related to party ID changes that occurred in response to the first debate. Naturally other events will also factor into those numbers, but at this writing there can be no doubt that the October 3 debate was an earthquake that stands unchallenged as the major event of this campaign.