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. Soldiers for Obama

    Hillary looked better tonight. Gave a weak answer for Iraq. Obama looked and sounded more like a leader.

    February 1, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  2. Monique

    "I cannot believe that people would call Pres. Bill Clinton one of the best presidents we have ever had, and in the same breath doubt the one person who was in ROCK throughout his administration. THATS WHAT I CANT BELIEVE! "

    By the way, this makes people look very sexist and says we have along way to go in the line of fairness and unbiased outlooks on the way we do things in this country.

    February 1, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  3. Jay C

    If I read another qoute by a DEM that claims if Obama wins they are going to vote republican I'll lose it!!!. Go ahead and go to the RED party right now we(democrats) don't need you!!!! What is this baby poor sport talk, you guys are little kids with this "if obama wins"....... stuf.

    I will vote for the democratic nominee because I am sick of the way thi scountry is headed and I think Clinton or Obama will mak ea good choice. Because they are not republican!!! I am for Obama!!! but I can say that if he doesn't win i am not going to be a poor sport and tuck my tail between my legs and vote for the other party just because I am bitter!!! Goddness what a bunch of children. If this is how the avrage voter thinks no wonder this country is in a mess. GROW UP!!!

    February 1, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  4. Sandro

    I thought Hillary won the debate. She came across as being well informed and with a solid direction regarding the future of our nation.Obama did very well also.
    When asked why she voted in favor of the Iraq war I believe was her weakest moment. I felt she should have addressed the question by indicating that the facts that were presented then suggested that Iraq still had W.M.D s , and the only responsible desicion at that point was to keep all options open.

    February 1, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. mark

    clinton-obama 08! great deal!

    February 1, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. Queen of Hearts

    Both faired well, but Hillary definitely has the edge!

    Obama delivers better when he is on script

    February 1, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  7. Ray Refundo

    Obama performed very well, he won that debate, period. he has the best chance of attracting independents, therefore the the Democratic party's best chance of getting back the White House.

    February 1, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Calvin F, Ohio

    I think the comment Molly made here is the best comment of the night . Obama supported the war effort. His reason on TV was the Bush misled him. He thought voting to fund the war would make it come to an end sooner. Lol. Yea, so what is this about getting it right the first time! It is amazing how easily some of us can focus on this 60 percent....it is not even worth commenting on...and definitely not a need to go back to intro stat.

    February 1, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. June (California Voter)

    I thought Obama looked better and answered some questions I had.
    But before in the debates there wasn't a good discussion as this one.
    I already voted for Hillary Clinton for I mailed in my ballot.
    So if Obama gets the democratic nomination I will vote for him.
    The only republican that I may vote for if I voted Republican would be John McCain.
    Go Hillary '08!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  10. jes

    I have read your comments & opinions. If you want to see what real loser in a world leader check Bush pal Canadian PM Steve Harper. I say again I wish Clinton was running for leader in Canada!

    February 1, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. evan

    hillary "short-pantzed" obama. he looked like a kid

    February 1, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  12. rob

    I think they both did okay but Obama was very reserved. he is hoping to get some delegates and make the campain go a little bit longer. this benefits him in a long run since he does better when he runs the small meetings. It seemed to me the he thinks he is no longer an underdog but a front-runner . He looked presidential. Hillary did a great being civil, she knew that Obama only attacks when attacked and playing the nice game kept Obama from atttacking. Nice job Hillary...but am still pro Obama!

    Obama 08

    February 1, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  13. June (California Voter)

    But Hillary won the debate I want to add.

    February 1, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. JohnS

    Very Interesting , Clean Up after the Bush's. Give us a break,,,, the Clinton's came from dirt, handeled their life like dirt, and treated the highest office on earth like dirt. We are still cleaning up after ALL the dirt.

    No wonder you spend taxpayers money so freely when you do not see the Goverment like a business… Try getting your check book balanced for a change.

    Your views on Immigration ( See Above) we are a government of rules and regulations and balance (enforce the rules in place) we do not need to think of what to do,,,, follow the rules and regulations on the books NOW!

    How dishonest can both of you be,,,, not once did you confirm the roll of the soldiers and the effort they are doing,,, in fact MRS RODHAM said that she saw nothing good that happen,,,,millions of people are free, we are trying again to clean up the dirt you left behind. Disgraceful your lack of love for freedom

    February 1, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  15. R.K

    1. Wolf had a real tough time finding any differences. It should come down to who is more likely to win. If polls are to be believed, that should be Obama. Then again, Hillary's high negatives could bring in Bloomberg. Despite his desire not to be a spoiler, no amount of research can guarantee he won't be.
    2. Why did CNN correspondents keep saying that one of these two "will" be the Democratic nominee? Is it not still possible that a brokered convention will be forced to choose somebody else?

    February 1, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. Rebecca - O.C.

    I totally trust Senator Clinton when she speaks not only merely for her speech but for her past actions ... and I see her as a very strong, determinating, steadfast, honest and capable President that can "only" bring back the hope and trust so many Americans & other country's lost in America over the past 8 years. It's not just about her experience, it's about her strong character and belief that has maintained steadfast throughout many, many years and continues forward with great hope for America.

    There's just "something" about Obama that doesn't feel right ... and mainly because I hear in his speeches quite often (like tonight) slashes at Hilary, as she didn't feel threatened and insecure in her positions to over react with negative back slashes at him. She smiled graciously and carefully defended her position and cleared the record consistently. She focused more on issues, as he would try to slash her almost in every answer, while cautiously trying to seem fair. Even Wolf caught on to his under slashes at Hilary, while Hilary took it with a smile and then graciously defended herself and corrected Obama. He just doesn't seem to straighten up and fly right with core specific issues. He is a good talker ... I'll give him that. But, if I can see him coming ... so will other country's! I don't think so.

    February 1, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  17. Dream-on

    Unbiased? NOT! – is right, adding the 50% Hispanics and it sound like CNN was trying to MAKE the news instead of reporting it. And CNN pointing fingers to the "University Professor" is B.S.

    February 1, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  18. devaki ganesan

    Hillary has complete control and knowledge of most important issues. She analyzes them very nicely in simple terms.

    My vote is for Sen Clinton. She is thoughtful and understands all aspects of the problem before her decisions. On economuy and jobs she clearly has ideas.

    I like her health care plan. She can get it done.

    She will get the best experts for jobs to be done.

    February 1, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  19. Mario

    Hilary had a wonderful night, I certainly think she won this debate.I particularly liked her take on health care and the war.She seems to really know what she is doing and she has a lot of experience and brains.I hope enough people noticed she should be our next president.

    February 1, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  20. OBAMATheGreat2008

    I loved the tone of tonight's conversation. Hillary was very competent and showed well. Obama has my vote though, I think he'll hold up better to the republicans, and I think he'll help us regain our respect in the world. These two can play nice with each other right now b/c America needs to see that the Dems are unified and that they have a new message that has to be heard. Edwards would help "season" Obama's presidency just right.

    Obama/Edwards 08!

    February 1, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  21. J.F.

    I'm with you Jay C. Wow, is there so much hate towards Obama that people will run to the other side if he's the nominee? Well, that makes sense coming from her supporters, she does the same thing – change her position!!

    February 1, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. tomdavie

    Obama failed on his health bill that is still just a cheap SPIN on the same republican pay for private insurance.

    He tried to pin the cost on Clinton, but she wormed her way out of it.

    Clinton then called Obama on the fact that he would mandate children, and didnt seem to suggest how he would FINE parents who DIDNT insure their kids under his plan. The same argument he used on Clinton about how she would FINE people who refused to get insurance.

    She did very well to PIN the universal health care as a CORE ISSUE with democrats, which drew heavy applause. She also PINNED herself to Edwards -against Obama – when it came to universal healthcare.

    Obama REALLY FAILED when he tried to SPIN Kennedy in on the immigration reform. He suggested he was the only one 'consistent'

    Clinton fired back that in fact SHE CO SPONSORED a bill on immigration reform in 2004 – which was BEFORE he was in senate.

    This made Obama look like a rookie, and also showed Kennedy wasnt the first one to draft such a bill .

    i think this was the KILLER blow to minimize Kennedys influence with Latios.

    February 1, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  23. mike

    that my hillary Go my president from the ordaz famlily

    February 1, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Janet

    Do we really want to continue with dynasty politics? Sure the 90s were prosperous, but it was because of the internet boom, not the Clinton presidency.

    I'm voting for Obama because he can beat McCain. Clinton would bring out the GOP vote in droves.

    February 1, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. hilary

    Hillary won the debate but I wish she would critique Obama's voting on Iraq. His record isn't innocent and perfect. She wants to end the war and I think that is what matters. It will take a Clinton to clean up the Bush mess and it isn't Bill Clinton. I am one of the biggest fans of Bill Clinton but now I see Hillary as a much stronger, more competent, and brilliant minded future President. When I hear her policies and ideas for our country, I don't hear Bill's ideas anymore – it is all Hillary and I believe she will do what she says.

    February 1, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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