Mitt Romney’s commanding performance in Wednesday night’s first presidential debate has started to yield results.
The Republican candidate has raised $12million in online donations over the last couple of days, and has also received a two point boost in the respected Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
The news comes as Barack Obama’s lacklustre showing continues to be mocked by top comedians – even those who are strong supporters of the President.
The poll shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 47%.
In addition, Mr Romney’s campaign took in a donation haul of $12million via his website in just 48 hours after the conclusion of the debate in Denver, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The bump in fundraising was even bigger than those recorded after the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mr Romney’s running mate and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Mr Obama’s healthcare law.
In addition, 60 per cent of those donating online had never given money to the campaign before.
The increase in small contributions from first-time donors is a significant change for Mr Romney’s campaign.
The former governor of Massachusetts has previously relied more on large donations from wealthy supporters, in contrast to Mr Obama’s grassroots network of givers.
Other indicators of campaign strength have also been promising for Mr Romney – aides have reported seeing an upturn in the number of volunteers at offices around the country.
It is still too early to tell whether the aftermath of the debate will shore up the candidate’s position in the polls over the long run, but early signs are encouraging for the Republican.
Rasmussen polls showed Mr Romney gaining a lead in Florida and Virginia, both states which he must win in order to have a realistic shot at the White House.
Mr Obama has been the target of political satirists ever since his disappointing debate performance – and the jokes do not seem to be letting up.
Jay Leno made a reference to the huge audience for the televised event during his talk show on Friday.
‘They’re saying close to 60 million people may have watched the debate,’ he said. ‘In fact, the only person who didn’t tune in, I think, was President Obama.’
Comedian Bill Maher, a passionate Obama supporter who gave $1million to a Democratic super PAC, also had harsh words for the President.
‘It looks like he took my million and spent it all on weed,’ Mr Maher said.
However, Mr Obama also had good news as it was revealed that he and the Democratic party had together raised $181million in September, the most lucrative month of his re-election campaign,
The President’s fundraising haul topped the $114 million raised during the month of August.
He said in a message on Twitter that more than 1.8million people donated in September, including over 500,000 who had not donated before in 2008 or 2012.
The $181million was slightly less than Mr Obama’s record of $190million in September 2008.
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