Obama's approval rating held steady at 50% between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, not varying one point. Polls taken during the entire month of October -- with its campaign ups and downs, attention-getting debates and a massive natural disaster -- showed the president's job approval rating at about 50%, never dipping below 49%.
Even when Clarus poll averages reported Romney a couple of points ahead of the incumbent in mid-October, with the GOP challenger working his way out of a slump and gathering new momentum, Obama's job rating stood stubbornly at 50%.
In the end, no matter what either campaign did, this race was a referendum on Obama's job performance. Ironically, that's what Republicans always wanted and Democrats always feared.
Now we know.
Faucheux is president of Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan polling company, and he teaches at George Washington University.