Obama tops Romney in two instant post-debate polls

Two instant polls conducted after Monday night’s presidential debate place President Obama in the winner’s circle, though the scale of his victory varied depending on the topic.

Overall, according to a CBS News poll, respondents ruled in favor of Obama over Mitt Romney, 53% to 23%, with 24% saying it was a tie. In a CNN poll, 48% said they favored Obama, compared with 40% for Romney.

Obama’s performance in the debate apparently came as a surprise to many in CNN’s poll, with 59% saying that the president exceeded their expectations. Forty-four percent said the same about Romney.

That said, there was little success for Obama in bringing voters over to his side, according to CNN’s polling. Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were more likely to vote for Obama after the debate. About the same, 25%, said they were now leaning toward Romney.


Half of the respondents said the debate wouldn’t influence their decision at the polls.

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Both Obama and Romney received an increase when it came to respondents’ perception of their credibility in dealing with an international crisis, though Obama’s jump from 58% to 71% was noticeably greater than Romney’s bump of 46% to 49%, according to the CBS News poll.

To no surprise, given those findings, the poll also favored Obama on terrorism and national security issues, 64% to 36%.


On the question of who would be better at “handling” China, the candidates received an even 50% apiece.

It remains to be seen whether the final debate will have as much of an influence on the national and battleground polls as the first debate did, amid a tightening electoral landscape.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday put Obama and Romney in a 47% deadlock, and Gallup’s current seven-day rolling average among likely voters favors Romney, 51% to 46%, though among registered voters that lead is cut to 48% to 47%.

The CBS News/GfK instant poll was conducted online among a sample of 521 uncommitted voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.


CNN’s poll of 448 registered voters -- 34% Democrat and 30% Republican -- was conducted over the phone by ORC International. It had margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 points.

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