January 31st, 2008
10:25 PM ET
10 years ago

People meter: undecided Democratic voters weigh in

Voters reacted to Thursday night's debate in real time.

Voters reacted to Thursday night's debate in real time.

(CNN)—Thursday night’s CNN/LATimes/Politico Democratic debate was a historic event not only because the field has narrowed - leaving a choice of an African America or a female Democratic nominee - but because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared to have called a truce. The two seemed to combine their efforts and threw their punches at the Republican Party.

Immigration, healthcare and the war in Iraq took center stage at the Kodak Theatre. All the while, a group of undecided male and female Democratic voters reacted in real time to the candidates’ responses.

The red line graph represents voter approval or disapproval of their responses as the debate progressed.

Overall, 60 percent of the undecided voters weighing in thought Clinton showed more strength Thursday night than Obama. However, they did feel Obama did best on the topic of Iraq.

People meter: Watch Obama and Clinton battle their healthcare packages

People meter: Watch Obama discuss his plan to curb illegal immigration

People meter: Watch Clinton discuss her Iraq war strategy

People meter: Watch Obama pitch his plan to handle foreign threats

Related: CNN's Erica Hill reports undecided voters had the strongest response over criticism of the Republicans

–CNN's Emily Sherman

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Barbara

    Go figure,, Obama won the debate Hands down....I'm not a Billery fan and never will be.. Can not trust them.....

    January 31, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  2. Sue from Louisiana

    Hillary won hands down, but the commentators will not give her a break. Why is this a continuing problem? She clearly had sound answers for what to do about universal health care, immigration and yes, the Iraq war. She was poised and thoughtful throughout the debate. It would be tragic to elect an inexperienced peron such as Senator Obama at this critical time in history. If we were faced with a neuclear attack, I know I would want Hillary making the decisions at that moment.

    I suggest that the CNN commentators carefully review the tape of this debate. The substance of policy solutions and true understanding of the issues came from Senator Clinton and she deserves credit for that.

    January 31, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. R Nolan

    Poor Will stated something like 50% of the group were hispanic, thus making the group non proportionate. Obviously Will, You've absolutely never been to Oxnard, California.
    I live in Ventura which is a sister city of Oxnard, and actually its more like 54% hispanic in Oxnard, so you were almost right by attempting to call it unfair to people like you, but it actually was unfair to the Hispanics who were actually Under their true proportion to the population of Oxnard.

    January 31, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |

    LoL Hillary sold the deal....she still doesnt acknowledge her vote as a mistake...I'm sorry when you decide to send American troops in harm's way and to spend over 200 billion dollars on an illegal war....then Obama is right...you have no sound judgement...what makes you think Hillary won't repeat her "mistake" again

    January 31, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  5. SimplyObama

    Obama won no doubt

    January 31, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |

    Wow once again the Clinton News Netwok spins another debate to the severeley overmatched Hillary Clinton. Obama soundly beat Hillary Clinton tonight, even with the heavy clinton Bias that my democrat friend Wolf blitzer showed. Wolf come to the good side of the force Wolf, come where all the JFK RFK Democrats are come to MSNBC Wolf, leave the evil empire of Darth Clinton and come to the Barack Skywalker team. There is still much good in you i see 🙂 as Yoda would say.

    January 31, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. Karin

    President Elect Hilary Clinton ROCKED tonight, go girl !!! I'm so hopeful, a hope I lost the day the current king took the office and we've been under siege, Our knight in shining armor is indeed a woman, let her ride, let her lead, let her take charge. The best man for cleaning up a big mess is, yes, a woman and the 2 of the together would be Historical !! Let's do it America, let's change the course of our country and history !1 🙂

    January 31, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. Eith

    Mr. Obama was solid, very solid tonight. He just has to do his campaign now. Notice, how even Mr. Blitzer was booed by the women-protective audience?
    For Mr. Obama, it was like walking on water with Hillary. And he did exceptionally well, on specifics and on foreign policy. He is a bit too unseasoned, politically, yet. Noded his head too many times, in support of her in the debate! But that just shows his innocense against her very politcally charged face.

    January 31, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  9. mamta

    Hillary Clinton did well, but there is always this feeling that there is more to her
    than what meets the eye.

    January 31, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. Monique

    I would agree that Senator Clinton made the most out of this debate. She has been consistant throughout her campaign and that is what I can appreciate most. She has demonstrated time and time and again tonight exactly what her leadership will involve in detail. This is someone who knows exactly what is needed to get done and can make things happen in this country. And I also want to note that this is a huge misconception on the black vote in this nomination. I do not believe it is enough to say that Senator Obama automatically has that vote. I am in fact black myself and I support Senator Clinton because of her honesty, forthright answers and quite frankly her frankness. Its amazing to me that a black senator running for president would overlook the question from Minnesota about illegal immigration affecting blacks in this country. I am a WITNESS to that because my stepfather is in construction and his hours have either been crippled or non-existent for quite sometime now and that has been the EXACT REASON why. The fact that she did not sidestep this so as to not "piss" anyone off says a lot about her in fairness and also says a lot about Obama. His lack of experience shows in this. That is why she has my vote, and my respect and also why this right-wingers do not care for her. They can not boss her around, her ideas are clear and concise and I would be proud to have her as my president. GO HILLARY 08'!

    January 31, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. San Francisco

    Hillary WILL NOT get the millions of Independents who would vote for Obama. They will move to McCain. I realize non-pragmatic Democrats don't care but everytime I see a post from someone saying "if Obama wins, I'm voting Republican," I laugh out loud and say, "not likely but nice try to blunt the reality of the fact that Obama CAN bring Independents and Republicans across the line and HIllary will send them SPRINTING to ABC."

    January 31, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Harry, Michigan

    Yes, after years of effort and practically destroying herself several times (as recently as last week), she did appear to behave like a normal human being......

    January 31, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. JohnS

    Well, did anyone hear Bill Bennet's response to some of Hillary's answers, such as "IT TAKES A CLINTON...

    "Well, of all the people, The Clintons have been the worst to clean after"


    So, Republicans like Bennet are waiting to give straight anwers to Hillary about CLEANING AFTER PEOPLE.

    I guess we will sit back and wait for the Republican machines to come out to give Hillary some HONEST answers.

    Dems for Hillary, you would need to face any future humiliations without Independents and Moderate Republicans who are crossing over ONLY for Obama!!!

    January 31, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. WIsconsin

    AMERICA desires another Clinton and all the ugliness that is attached to them. Obama is to honest and colorblind for this country. Other countries are beating that Obama wont be elected because they know the history of America and understand that Americans are the worlds biggest hypocrites/liers. That is why most of the Democrats prefer Clinton.

    January 31, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  15. Mary

    How can you present results of "the undecided voters weighing in tonight" and not explain that this consisted of 30 people

    I am reaching back here about 25 years, but the first thing you learn in an intro course to statistics is that you need a certain mininum number of people to ever be statistically significant, and i think that number is 32

    not that it would have mattered here if you did have 32 or more, because, what i have heard is that this was not a random group – 50% of the people in that group were latino

    what a disgrace that you could report the findings as if they are representative of anything

    January 31, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  16. interesting

    To Bryce K.

    You said it best. Both did well, but Clinton shined more with the comment (best line of the night) "it took a Clinton to clean up after the 1st Bush, it will take another Clinton to clean up after the 2nd Bush"

    Brillant and even Obama Supporters were clapping and had to agree.

    Both did well. Clinton had the edge as shown by their opening remarks. Obama did not keep eye contact with the tv or crowd. He was looking at Wolf Blitzer too much. Clinton knew what she wanted to say and was poignant and direct. I am just glad BOTH OF THEM remained civil.

    It was a HISTORIC MOMENT. The first African-American male (Obama) or first woman (Clinton) will be the Democratic Nominee for 2008 President. It was amazing and I am glad that I was able to see and live that.

    January 31, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. Nick

    I thought tonight was a draw. My vote will be for Obama..."We do not want to build the bridge back to the 20th century..we must look forward"

    January 31, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  18. Josh

    Hillary clearly won the debate.

    Obama is all prepared speeches...sure he sounds good during his scripted stump speeches...because he didn't write them!

    When he has to debate, and think for himself, he looks weak. He spent half the night staring down at the floor.

    HILLARY 08!

    January 31, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  19. ROCCO


    January 31, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  20. R Nolan

    Oxnard did fine in this situation and just because you didn't like what you saw, get over yourself, vote for who you like, I know I will and SHE will win.

    January 31, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  21. Reality sets in

    Lets be honest. Hillary would never be VP to Obama. Does anyone think Bill's...um...I mean Hillary's ego would let that happen?
    I cant see Obama as Hillary's VP either
    .You would be competing with Bill Clinton at every turn. What chance would Obama have at implementing any of his ideas? None.

    Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton......stop the addiction

    Obama/Saulius 08'

    January 31, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  22. christina hahn

    realizing that republicans will appoint there strict judges come next election and how they made it very clear. i will be forced to vote democrat come this election. CLITON ,OBAMA. OBAMA,CLITON...the winners come november... the dream team.

    January 31, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. jes

    As a unbiased Canadian, I have watched both Republican & Democrat debates. In opinion Hilary Clinton comes across as a real leader. I wish she was running fo office inCanada.

    January 31, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. Kathy

    I'm voting Obama. He has vision, guts and experience. He should smile more, though. He looks so serious a lot of the time. He has a beautiful smile. He should use it.

    January 31, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  25. Kayla

    Obama is a great speaker and he brings hope. I have been knocked over the head with that. I think those things are nice I have liked Obama for a long time but we need someone who can take a punch & give one and experience is important. I am unsure of anything Obama has actually done. Maybe Universal Health care is not the perfect solution but it is better than what we have & those people who dont think they need it are the ones we probably pay for now. I also dont understand why Hill has to say she made a mistake I dont like the war but I do like the fact you cant make her say or do something she doesnt want to do. If I hear Obama is the new and the Clintons are the old I will scream what are the Kennedys? John Kerry? Arent there more Kennedys then Clintons? Who has the real dynasty? In the end make the choice you feel good about and can live with I am tired of the polls the pundits and the whining. If you want real change then start a third party & put a real outsider in the whitehouse.

    January 31, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
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