Romney Crushing Obama with Independents in New Monmouth Poll (Update: Romney Lead Holds in Gallup)

A new Monmouth University poll carries more bad news for the Obama campaignadministration (that's not a typo). Nationally, Mitt Romney now leads 48-45. That's a flip from mid-September, when Obama led by the same margin. Five percent remain undecided.

The poll finds that about 12% of likely voters in the sample have already voted nationally, and Romney leads among them 44-41. The gender gap has also closed dramatically after the first debate, with Obama leading by just four points among women while Romney leads by 11 points among men.

It's among independent voters, though, where Obama is weakest. According to the poll, the first presidential debate changed the race considerably. Romney leads by 19 points among independent voters, 52-33. He has a +22 point favorable rating among independents (compared to Obama's -15 favorability).

Romney leads by 23 points on the economy and jobs, and he leads by 19 points on handling Social Security and Medicare. That last is an indictment both of Obama's failure to do anything to reform them, and of his campaign's tactic of trying to scare seniors into believing that Romney will threaten them. That attack has not worked.

On the federal budget and national debt, Romney leads by 28 points among independents. Romney also enjoys a 10 point advantage over Obama on foreign policy, which was supposed to be the president's cornerstone issue until the 9-11 attacks in Egypt in Libya.

Update: Gallup shows Romney holding the six-point lead from last week, while Rasmussen shows Romney up by four in Colorado. That swing state may have just stopped swinging.