Poll: Who will win Wednesday's debate?
October 1st, 2012
11:30 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Who will win Wednesday's debate?

Washington (CNN) - Two days before the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a new poll indicates that most Americans see the GOP challenger as the underdog in the first showdown.

According to a ABC News/Washington Post national poll released Monday, 55% of likely voters say they think the president will win the debate, with 31% saying that Romney will be victorious. The findings on this question from the new survey are in-line with a CNN/ORC International poll conducted right after the Democratic convention earlier this month, where by 59%-34%, likely voters said Obama rather than the former Massachusetts governor would be more likely to do a better job in the October showdowns.

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Wednesday night's debate in Denver, Colorado is the first of three between the president and Romney. Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Romney's running mate, face off once as well.

According to the Washington Post poll, 49% of likely voters say if the election were held today, they'd vote for the president, with 47% saying they'd vote for Romney. The president's two point margin is within the survey's sampling error. A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll also released Monday also indicates it 49% for Obama and 47% for Romney among likely voters nationwide.

The two new surveys follow a Fox News poll released late last week which indicated a five point advantage for the president. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages all three surveys together puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 46% among likely voters.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Sept. 26-29, with 1,001 adults nationwide, including 929 registered voters and 813 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll was conducted Sept. 24-27, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Also see:

– Getting ready for Wednesday's showdown

– Ann Romney to rally while Obama preps for debate across town

– Obama to hit trail after debate

– Romney hits Obama on foreign policy in weekly podcast

– Obama talks housing market in weekly address


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Expat American

    Romney will not have the luxury of hiding behind his proven attack lies, the Koch Brother’s money and Karl Rove’s commercials.
    Romney will have to back up his own words and actually offer up some ideas of his own, and not the recycled failed policies of Bush/Cheney.
    The President will win the debate and will win the election.

    October 1, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. TAK

    It isn't a real debate and any voter who bases their ultimate choice soley on who wins or loses Wednesday's dog and pony show is an idiot.

    October 1, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Wake up people!

    With all the crying from the GOP about media bias, I doubt the POTUS even has a chance. If Willard doesn't win EVERYTHING it will be blame the media again time. Spin, spin, spin. Oh what a fair country we live in. Yikes.

    October 1, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    Obama's pile of excuses for a failed administration will not play well on live TV. Mitt Romney's well crafted plan forward based on real economics and years of real experience will convince viewers.

    October 1, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. DJ

    You know, it really does not matter how well Mitt does during debate. Unless he rides in on chariots pulled by lions, and dressed like Conan the Barbarian, with the voice of great orator, the MSM will declare that he has lost. But if obama just shows up and smiles, the MSM will declare him the winner.

    October 1, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Nothing Romney can say will make me vote for him so I'm voting tomorrow for Obama/Biden 2012. Ryan/Romney have lied too many times already.

    October 1, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Four, it doesn't look like you've seen the polls recently. Polltracker.com which combines all big polls (Rasmussen, Gallup, Pew, CNN, ABC, etc... no excuses this time tea bags) has Obama up three points right now and by even more in individual swing states. The polls for the debates are even worse for Romney with less than a third expecting him to win. Even Mitt himself doesn't expect to win! Just give it up four. Romney's going down. You should update your title to Eight and the door.

    October 1, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. kvan

    It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I have no idea what Obama is even running on this time. What is his plan to get the economy moving? I can't vote for a smile and a wave.

    October 1, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Ann

    Not the angry guy on the left.. why does he look so hateful?

    October 1, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Hillcrester

    The "winner–loser" rhetoric is a misdirection. All that matters from the debates is how they influence the relatively small number of undecided or influencable voters in the 8-9 battleground states. If CA or NY voters predictably see Obama doing well or TX voters see Romney as superior, what does it matter? And if they see the opposite result, it won't change who gets those electoral votes.

    October 1, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney's well crafted plan forward based on real economics and years of real experience will convince viewers.
    -----------–

    And would you please share Flips' plan with us? We certainly can't get any answers out of him. All we get is "Obama bad. Me good" and "I'll get back to you on that"

    October 1, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Pam from Iowa

    Will Karl and the Koch brothers be coaching Romney??

    October 1, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Sonia

    Every icy decided to whom he or she is going to vote. Thinking that the debate will sway votes is foolishness.

    October 1, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Ram Riva

    The President will win all three debates and will be reelected to a second four year term.....the GOP is desperate....Romney is clueles without an scripted practiced answer...."gaffe's time".....you're on your own....against the President of the United States....the GOP is down to their last three hail marys....trying to salvage something from the House and Senate races....though times ahead for the GOP and the doomed tea party...who wins??....the middle and hard working class...and the USA...

    October 1, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Sonia

    Everybody decided to whom he or she votes. Debates normally have no effect on swaying votes.

    October 1, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. yogi

    For every question asked to Romney there is the underlying which Romney? Which position when? Watch carefully when he is being asked about details, he will not answer any of those questions simply because he has no plans, he has no idea period.
    Obama 2012

    October 1, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Wake up people!

    @Ann, you haven't even seen the POTUS get angry. Though I'm sure that's what you necks are waiting for so you can start calling him the angry black man. But the way President Obama has been treated by his supposed peers and the media, he has every right in the world to be angry. No President in history has ever been so disrespected. Not even Bush after he lied us into two wars so the rich could get richer.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 1, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Sonia

    We know who wins the election not the debates. It is Barak Obama.

    October 1, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. yogi

    @ Four and The Door
    You keep repeating the same hollow phrases continuously, the same as your candidate, no substance whatsoever.

    October 1, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Allen

    The liberal bias of the chosen moderators will be attempting to keep the topics on an Obama friendly subject. It will be up to Romney to take control of the debates and keep the subject on the real issues and not give into the distractions that the moderators will surely attempt to discuss

    October 1, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Wes Monroe

    Obama will crush Romney Wednesday

    October 1, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Hindsight 20/20

    kvan says:
    October 1, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm
    It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I have no idea what Obama is even running on this time. What is his plan to get the economy moving? I can’t vote for a smile and a wave.
    ***************************

    I, for one, can't vote for a flip and a flop.

    October 1, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Wes Monroe

    Romney will crush Obama Wednesday

    October 1, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. ST

    Winning without getting any bounce like it was after GOP convention is totally meaningless. I am wondering what kind of language Romney will come with to change the minds of many! It is a heavy lift very few can attempt to give it a try.

    October 1, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    The Democratic Party MEDIA!

    They will proclaim Obama the winner, irregardless of fact. They will tell the people that Obama won, whether he actually did, or NOT!

    Freedom in America has been murdered by the MEDIA!

    October 1, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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