In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll poll released Monday, 49 percent of registered voters surveyed said they would rather leave a child with the president than Romney.
That's a 13 point spike for Obama; just two weeks ago, the rivals were dead even in the "babysitting" question.
Obama's reserved, less-confrontational performance at the debate could be a big reason for the upswing. The president suggested he might have been "too polite" during his meeting with Romney in Denver. But whatever that his demeanor cost him, it seemed to hit home with when it comes to caring and responsibility.
Respondents' preference on the "who would you rather have as the captain of a ship in a storm?" question has tightened from a 12 point Obama lead two weeks ago to a statistically insignificant +4 for Obama now, possibly reflecting a Romney debate performance that suggested skill under duress.
Sixty percent of voters think Obama is more apt to go bungee jumping, while only 21 percent think Romney would be up for the thrill. Romney has been labeled as uptight by many political pundits as his younger opponent is often portrayed as more of a sporting type, apt to a risk.
The candidates split the decision when voters were asked who they would rather have as an employee. Both received 46 percent on that query, suggesting those surveyed see Obama and Romney as reliable people.