A CNN/ORC International Poll following today’s presidential debate found, in CNN’s words, that those who watched the third and final head-to-head matchup of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did not identify a clear winner.” Debate viewers split 48% for Obama and 40% for Romney in the poll, a margin within the sampling error, according to CNN.
As Ed Morrissey points out, Obama “won” the insta-poll after the second debate by a nearly identical margin. Yet he failed to stem Romney’s surge in the polls.
Ed also points to a CNN polling tidbit that will probably bring a smile to Romney’s face. Asked whether each candidate can handle the commander-in-chief job, 63 percent said Obama can; 60 percent said Romney could. If, as I believe, Romney set out, above all, to persuade voters he would be as good as Obama in this realm, he seems to have succeeded.
CNN also found that 24 percent of debate watchers say the debate made them more likely to vote for Obama, while 25 percent say it made them more likely to vote for Romney. The rest were unmoved.
But Ed also cites a more encouraging (for Romney) survey on how the debate moved voters. A PPP poll of independents who watched the debate found that 32 percent are more likely to vote for Obama after the debate, while 48 percent are less likely to do so. In the same vein, 47 percent are more likely to vote for Romney, with 35 percent less likely to.
These are numbers Team Romney probably would have taken, had they been offered going into the debate. Team Obama, probably not so much.