Mark Blumenthal | October 15, 2008
Topics: Barack Obama , Debates , John McCain
The same networks that conducted "instant reaction" surveys two the first two debates are out with the results to tonight's debate. Again, see my post from the first presidential debate for more detail on the methodologies used by each network. Here are the results just broadcast (with links to online reports when available):
CBS News once again recontacted uncommitted voters (638 in this case) who had been previously interviewed through the random sample Knowledge Networks Internet panel. The results:
- Who won the debate? 53% say Obama, 22% McCain, 25% rate it a tie.
- How did the debate impact vote preferences? 28% say they are now committed to Obama, 14% to McCain and 58% are still uncommitted.
- Candidates rated - would raise your taxes?
McCain: 56% before the debate, 48% after
Obama: 68% before the debate, 63% after
- Candidates rated - would make the right decisions on health care?
McCain: 27% before the debate, 30% after
Obama: 61% before the debate, 69% after
- Candidates rated - would make the right decisions on the economy?
McCain: 38% before the debate, 48% after
Obama: 54% before the debate, 65% after
CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation conducted follow-up telephone interviews with a random sample of 620 registered voters who watched the debate. In a previous survey, conducted October 13-14, they inidicated they planned to watch tonight's debate.
- Who did the best job? 58% Obama, 31% McCain.
- Obama's rating (favorable-unfavorable): Pre-debate 63-35%, Post debate 66-33%
- McCain's rating (favorable-unfavorable): Pre-debate 51-45%, Post debate 49-49%
- Who expressed his views more clearly?: 66% Obama, 25% McCain
- Who spent more time attacking his opponent?: 80% McCain, 7% Obama
- Who seemed to be the strongest leader?: 56% Obama, 39% McCain
- Who was more likable?: Obama 70%, McCain 22%
- Who would better handle the economy?: 59% Obama, 35% McCain
- Who would better handle health care?: 62% Obama, 31% McCain
- <Who would better handle taxes: 56% Obama, 41% McCain
Update - From the CNN summary:
The poll was conducted by telephone with 620 adult Americans who watched the debate. The audience for this debate appears to be a bit more Democratic than the U.S. population as a whole. Forty percent of debate watchers in the poll were Democrats and 30 percent Republicans.
Update II - CNN subsequently updated it's summary:
Eighty-eight percent of Democrats questioned in the poll said Obama did the best job, with 68 percent of Republicans saying McCain performed best. Among independents, 57 percent said Obama did the best job, with 31 percent backing McCain as the winner of the debate
That result is consistent with the reactions by party to the Town Hall debate. Democrats were more impressed with Obama's performance than Republicans were with McCain's, and independents preferred Obama.
Update III - The Media Curves online/text message survey, a SurveyUSA post-debate poll in California and the Democracy Corps "dial groups" conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg showed similar results (see also the account by Time's Amy Sullivan).