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The Times/Zogby Poll, however, found Mr. Romney’s supporters were substantially more enthusiastic about backing him than Mr. Obama’s supporters were, which signals a volatile race that will likely come down to the size of voter turnout.

Mr. Obama has staunched the bleeding from his disastrous performance in the first debate, but didn’t appear to get a major boost from what polls said was a win for him.

Mr. Romney, however, has clearly benefitted from both debates. His favorability ratings have improved dramatically, and the Real Clear Politics average now shows him above Mr. Obama for the first time in this race in favorability, 50.5 to 50.

With no more debates, the fight now turns to television ads and to personal appearances by the two men, who will spend the final two weeks visiting those states deemed critical to the electoral college math.

Ohio, Virginia and Florida continue to loom as the chief battlegrounds, but Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin are considered within reach of both. Mr Obama is trying to put Arizona and North Carolina in play, while Republicans want to force the president to have to defend Pennsylvania.