Mitt Romney's two-point lead over President Barack Obama in Gallup's crucial new survey of likely voters is likely to get worse before (and if) it gets better for Obama.
The lead is likely to expand because Gallup averages together the last seven days of poll result — and today's results include two days of responses before last week's presidential debate rocketed Romney back into contention.
Gallup's prior survey — of registered voters not necessarily voting in four weeks — is less reliable, but shows Romney down three points to Obama, consistent with recent polling.
With the full post-debate sample, it's likely that Gallup will confirm yesterday's shock Pew post-debate survey showing Romney leading by four points among nation-wide likely voters.
UPDATE: As Gallup notes, this will likely not hold in the long term, as more Democrats report that they will vote:
At this point, Romney voters are somewhat more likely to respond that they will definitely vote, that they have thought a lot about the election, and that they are more familiar with where people in their local area vote. These attitudes indicate that Romney at this juncture will benefit from higher turnout on Election Day among his supporters than will Obama. These patterns could change closer to Election Day as more voters become engaged or if Republicans' or Democrats' enthusiasm for voting is altered by campaign events.