CNN Poll: Debate watchers split on who won VP debate
Call it a draw.
Forty-eight percent of voters who watched the vice presidential debate think that Rep. Paul Ryan won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Thursday night’s faceoff. Forty-four percent say that Vice President Joe Biden was victorious. The Republican running mate’s four point advantage among a debate audience that was more Republican than the country as a whole is within the survey’s sampling error.
Half of all debate watchers questioned in the poll said the showdown didn’t make them more likely to vote for either of the candidates’ bosses, 28% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 21% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.
According to the survey, 55% said that the vice president did better than expected, with 51% saying that the congressman from Wisconsin performed better than expected.
By a 50%-41% margin, debate watchers say that Ryan rather than Biden better expressed himself.
Seven in ten said Biden was seen as spending more time attacking his opponent, and that may be a contributing factor in Ryan’s 53%-43% advantage on being more likable. Ryan also had a slight advantage on being more in touch with the problems of average Americans.
One of the top jobs for the candidates in a vice presidential debate is to convince Americans that they would be able to step into the top job if something happened to the president. The poll indicates that both men were seen as qualified to be president if necessary, by roughly equal numbers.
I had a couple possible scenarios in my head about how the debate would turn out. None of the scenarios came close to reality.
I guess who won depends on who you wanted to win. If you are an Obama supporter you probably think Biden kicked Ryan’s ass. If you are a Romney supporter you probably think that Ryan was incredibly patient with that crazy old man who kept yelling at him. If you are one of those 3-4 people who are still undecided then you’re probably still undecided.
Historically the VP candidates don’t determine the election. On the other hand, I really don’t think Joe Biden’s bizarre behavior did their reelection campaign much good last night.
What do you think?