As the battle after the battle rages in the spin room at Hofstra, polls by two major news organizations demonstrate that President Obama was the clear, if not overwhelming, victor over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate. A CNN poll of debate watchers gave the decision to the President by 46% to Romney’s 39%, while a CBS News poll of “uncommitted voters” scored it 37% for the President, 30% for Romney, and 33% a tie.
Also from the CNN poll:
Meanwhile, 73% said Obama did better than expected, compared to 37% who said the same about Romney.
The results offer a stark contrast from the first presidential showdown on October 3, when 67% of debate watchers said Romney fared better while 25% said Obama won the debate.
There was mixed news for the President in the CBS News poll’s internals:
As for who would do a better job of handling the economy, the president made some headway on closing that gap. Before the debate, 71 percent said they believed Romney would, while only 27 percent said they thought Obama would; after the debate, 34 percent said the president would better handle the economy, with 65 percent saying Romney would.
Obama would also be more likely to help the middle class, according to 56 percent of voters after the debate, compared with 43 percent who said that about Romney.
Given the dramatic effect of the first debate on the polls, the media narrative is developing into a “this maybe evens things up” feel, but that could change, too, as some of President Obama’s stronger moments from the debate are played and replayed.
Colorado voters give Obama narrow victory in debate
PPP’s post debate snap poll in the critical swing state of Colorado finds a narrow victory for Barack Obama, 48/44. Perhaps more importantly independents think that the President won by a 58/36 margin.
The debate enhanced both candidates’ images with Colorado voters. 40% now say they have a more positive opinion of Obama than they did before the debate, to 36% who see him less favorably. Mitt Romney actually does slightly better on that front with 44% of voters saying they see him more positively now to 35% with a less charitable opinion.
The debate isn’t likely to make a big difference in the state of the race in Colorado. 37% of voters say it made them more likely to vote for Obama, 36% say it made them more likely to vote for Romney, and 27% say it didn’t make a difference to them either way. We will continue calling Colorado voters on Wednesday and then release a full Presidential poll for the state on Thursday.
Obama was overwhelmingly seen as the winner of the debate among Hispanic voters (61/32) and lost just narrowly to Romney among whites (47/45). Obama was seen as a narrow victor among men (48/43) and women (49/46) alike.
One interesting thing we did was break down the results based on what channel people had watched the debate on. Predictably Fox News viewers (65/27) overwhelmingly thought Romney won, while MSNBC watchers (71/27) believe Obama was the winner. In addition to MSNBC, people who watched the debate on CNN, CBS, NBC, and PBS declare Obama to have been the winner. Beyond Fox News, voters who watched the debate on ABC, the Fox Network, and C-Span (very small sample size on that one) think Romney was the winner.
Time will tell whether this debate actually reversed the momentum in the race. But Obama’s victory tonight, even if it wasn’t an overwhelming one, should at least halt Romney’s momentum in the race and that was something he desperately needed.
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