The arc of the presidential campaign of 2012 would be a fitting inscription for a political tombstone should President Obama not win re-election.
The CNN Poll of Polls as of October 21 2012 clearly shows the massive impact on the trajectories of the two protagonists of the debacle of the first debate:
Seldom in American history has a politician done so much damage to his election campaign by one single event.
The upward trend of Mitt Romney starts soon after the October 3 debate. The red line rises, breaking through the ceiling imposed by month after month of relentless negative definition by the Democrats, added to the many missteps of the Romney camp, and the attacks on Romney by the other Republican candidates.
Now it's anyone's guess who will win.
But the trendlines since that debate seem to show clearly that a qualitative change took place in this election.