The latest WaPo/ABC tracking has Bush up by 2. That's for the average for the 3 days from Sunday to Tuesday. Given that the yesterday (Saturday-Monday), Bush was up by 6 and the day before that (Friday-Sunday), up by 5, Kerry clearly made a big gain on Tuesday. Whether this is a one day blip or the beginning of trend remains to be seen. Nonetheless, this now puts the WaPo/ABC poll in line with most others showing a very tight race and Kerry with momentum out of the first debate.
Overall, this has been a very bad week for Bush. First, the debate spin began to turn increasingly against Bush. Second there were the comments from Paul Bremer about the lack of troops in Iraq and now the inspectors' report that there were no WMD in Iraq. Cheney's debate performance was the one bright spot, but it was pushed out of the TV coverage by the WMD report and undermined by the photos showing Cheney with Edwards.
Friday will be interesting. First we get the September jobs data. The White House is circulating an internal memo predicting an upward revision of the March '03-March '04 jobs figure. If that's the case, it will be good news for Bush and give him something to hit back at Kerry's criticisms on domestic policy. If that's not the case, Bush will have some trouble. Not only because they jobs data will be bad, but the memo will also suggest that they are cut off from reality.
All of this makes Friday's debate very important for him. The good news is that his biggest problems last week are mostly technical and stylistic--body language, facial expressions, repeating certain phrases over and over again--and probably be remedied very easily with some good debate coaching.