10/23/2012 02:28 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2012

Momentum Continues for Romney in GPSM Horse Race, Wins 3rd Week in a Row

The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) released the 12th installment of its weekly Horse Race poll, which found that Gov. Mitt Romney bested President Barack Obama for the third week in a row.

Full survey results for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 21, are as follows:

Rate the prior week's performance (1 -- Very Ineffective, 5 -- Very Effective)
Mitt Romney's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a presidential candidate 3.62
Barack Obama's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a presidential candidate 3.55
Mitt Romney's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 3.70
Barack Obama's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 3.19

Which presidential campaign "won" the previous week?

Romney Campaign: 40 percent
Obama Campaign: 38 percent
Neither: 18 percent
Both: 04 percent
Don't know: 00 percent

As you see it, what was the pivotal moment of the campaign in the previous week (please describe in your own words)?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: "The pivotal moment of the last week was President Obama's debate performance this last week which stopped the bleeding after the first debate."

Republican Insider: "The debate gave the president a slight edge, but the debate afterward showed the weakness of the Obama administration's handling of the security in Libya and its weakness in the Middle East."

Democrat Insider: "Actually, the 'pivotal moment' was more than a moment. It was the lack of movement in the polls for Obama after the second debate. The damage done in the first debate seems to remain, maybe most critically among women."

Republican Insider: "The debate performances were pivotal, but the polling numbers showing Mitt Romney ahead, or at least, closing the gap in battleground states was most newsworthy."

Independent Insider: "The debate was not Romney's strongest moment, however, he didn't completely blow it. He needs to hammer Obama on Libya in tomorrow's debate the way he should have knocked it out of the park last Wednesday."

What advice would you give either of the presidential campaign's based on the performance of last week (please indicate either OBAMA or ROMNEY at the beginning of your answer)?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: OBAMA -- "You touched a national nerve during the debate when casting Romney as more extreme than Bush. Building on that at campaign events and in advertising should swing independent voters who still largely blame Bush for unemployment and the deficit."

Republican Insider: ROMNEY -- "Continuing hammering home the fact that the president has set no real second term agenda and that he is engaging in personal attacks rather than convincing voters why he should be reelected."

Democrat Insider: ROMNEY -- "Recalibrate your strategy towards women. Binders full of women comment makes you sound very corporate and task oriented and not inherently inclusive."

Republican Insider: BOTH -- "Both Obama and Romney need to make sure their numbers are accurate and convey accurately the truth behind the numbers. Both need to stop posturing and leave their egos at the door. This election is bigger than these two candidates. It is about how we are going to define ourselves as the United States moving forward."

Non-Affiliated Insider: OBAMA -- "Talk about foreign policy. Your record is fairly good, and some apologies were required following the roughshod cowboy approach of your predecessor."

The GSPM Horse Race is an aggregated, weekly measure of the opinions of graduate students, alumni, full-time faculty and adjunct professors at GSPM. The results are not intended to be representative of any larger population. The responses have been weighted to ensure that they are balanced politically, by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The comments provided are from survey participants. The survey results are released weekly and are available at