The first presidential debate did little to change the dynamics of the presidential race, new polls show. (Getty Images)
(CNN) – Nearly 60 million Americans tuned in to the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain last Friday, but national polls released this week suggest the square-off did little to change the dynamics of the race.
The new polls are bad news for McCain, who with only five weeks until Election Day is quickly running out of opportunities to shake up the race for the White House.
In a new CNN poll of polls consisting of surveys conducted entirely after the first presidential debate, Obama holds a 5-point lead over McCain, 48-43 percent. That's exactly where the race stood immediately before the two candidates kicked off the presidential debate season in Oxford, Mississippi, four days ago.
“The ruling on last Friday’s presidential debate is in, and it’s a split decision,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “The debate changed nothing. Obama’s supporters aren’t shifting to McCain, McCain’s supporters aren’t shifting to Obama, and undecided voters are still undecided.
But the poll numbers come even as surveys conducted by several media organizations immediately after the debate showed most viewers thought Obama had won. However the polls also showed the debate viewers appeared to be more Democratic than the overall population. (Related: CNN analysts grade McCain, Obama debate performances)
"Unfortunately for McCain, a continuation of the status quo favors Obama," Silverleib also said. "The pressure is increasing on McCain to find some way to change the fundamental dynamics of this race. He can’t afford to walk away with a tie in the remaining debates.”
McCain and Obama next square off October 7 in a debate that features a town-hall format - a set up that McCain favors. VP candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden have their only debate on Thursday.
why is the format set up to favor McCain?
The VP debate on Thursday will seal the deal. No way Palin can hold her own against Biden.
I don't see how anyone could really "win" a debate..they aren't scoring any points since the answers are matters of personal knowledge and debate...
People pretty much know who they are going to vote for by now and for those that don't, these debates should be a chance for the candidate to speak to them directly..whether or not they answer your questions is a personal opinion....
Good, all is right with the world. Now if Sarah would just keep talking the poll will be even higher in Barack's favor.
Thanks for picking her McCain, what a gift that keeps on giving.
How is 48-45 a 5-pt lead? Palinomics?
It changed me. Showed me the real McCain. Arrogant, disrespectful, angry, irritated and old.
Obama knocked mccain out no questions asked. Everything Mccain voted on war was wrong and everything mccain voted on economy was wrong mccain is wrong all his life
48-45 is not a 5 point lead
well go figure.
Mccain is an idiot, a liar, and it's going to be downright scary if he somehow wins with sarah palin, the model reporter and then mayor of a town that has less people than probably my college campus...
Palin's fist has been drawing my attention
causing me to wonder
probably represents insecurity
"Obama holds a 5-point lead over McCain, 48-45 percent"
New math, right?
The failure of his Mighty Mouse routine is the nail in the coffin for this campaign. He flew in to save washington, and instead created more chaos.
McCain: "Me First"
To date, everything McCain has done to "shake up the race", has been cynical, deceptive and grand-standing. I am afraid that he will do something really crazy.
The man is simply not stable. He is cornered and desperate.
"Obama holds a 5-point lead over McCain, 48-45 percent."
Those numbers don't look right.
He needs to be at 52% for it to really matter...i wonder...do they make enough calls to hold the number or if they made more would be get to 52%?
Can we get a breakdown of how these polls work so we can know if there is merit??
It's pretty obvious that Bill Clinton would like Obama to lose so that Hillary could run in 4 years.
The Clintons are not known for their ability to play fair
The debate in my opinion was won by Sen. Obama. The polls may not show a boost because he right people aren't being polled. Everyone I've spoken to thinks Obama won and thought McLame was childish because he couldn't even look Sen. Obama in the face.
Umm, 48-45 is a 5 point lead?
Related topic...the photo caption for the CNN Political Ticker posting showing Senator Obama talking to President Bush could be...
"Mr. President I got a call from Sarah Palin saying something about wanting to use her lifeline. Do you know how I can reach her?"
"Well Senator my understanding is she is at debate camp studying and is not to be disturbed by anyone...especially by journalists."
Excuse me-how is 48 to 45 a five point lead? Your polls have also been out of line with more recent ones suggesting Obama's lead is growing.
Who gathered these results? John King, the McPain man, probably.
It's not the debate that changed things, it was McCain unpredictable behavior. Throughout all of this Obama has been calm and responsible, and that's what we saw Friday night.
"Obama holds a 5-point lead over McCain, 48-45 percent." ... I want to subscribe to this mathematical journal.