Poll: Who will win Wednesday's debate?
October 1st, 2012
11:30 AM ET
6 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. Garrett

    You know who would win? Gary Johnson!

    October 1, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Ed R

    If the moderator and the media spin doctors commenting after the discussion (these fail the test of what a debate is intended to accomplish) do their job, then truth and reason will prevail. But, they won't.

    No one 'wins' or 'loses' in these discussions, but a lot of people figure out who they trust and like. That inflluences voting among those willing to listen – not the answers given by the candidates, the zingers, or how the studio audience reacts. If the press fails to push Obama to defend his sorry record of failure on the economy and national security and focuses on irrelevancies, the American people will lose and we will face four more years that will depreciate our country. It is easy to see that the Emperor has no clothes.

    October 1, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    The current president will because "Mitt" won't show and "Willard" will. Automatic loss for republicans.

    October 1, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Lauren

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 1, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Name Penguin

    The debates won't matter to me as I'm voting tomorrow. The Republican's trickle down theory of economics hasn't worked in the past, won't work now, and doesn't even make sense. Wealth trickles up- how many I Pods and computers did Steve Jobs make? He had thousands of workers build them and he profited enormously from their labor.

    October 1, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. yogi

    Rick, you mean by Fox?

    October 1, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Ann

    @Wake up people!
    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.
    The media? Are you kidding us? They nurtured him since 2007. Did you forget the Dems primaries and what the media and the Chicago-based Obama team did to Hillary? That was hate and anger, so stop the propaganda.

    October 1, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    I will depend if the liberal moderators to these debates are truly objective moderators. If they are the usual Obama supporters asking pointed questions to make Romney look bad or keep him on the defensive, then it will be a two on one situation for Romney. That is essentially what has been happening in the LSM during the course of this election. Romney has had to deal with attacks from Obama as well as his supporters in the LSM while Obama gets a free ride, even when the incompetence of his administration results in the death of Americans, including our ambassador to Libya.

    October 1, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. MENon

    October campaigning and debates are irrelevant for me. Romney has not made a case to replace the president so... I have Decided:My vote will be OBAMA

    October 1, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Paul Ernest Show

    Does it really matter? Romney has been his worst enemy. His supporters are even criticizing him.

    October 1, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. myviewis

    Obama will win the debate, no question about it. Obama is an expert at selling himself, Obama just cannot walk the talk. Obama can sell anything, he is an excellent speaker, he can motivate people, Obama could make people believe the earth is square but when it comes time to deliver what he talked Obama can't deliver.

    Obama = excellent speaker, great salesman, great debater but can't deliver what he talks.

    October 1, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. moreparties

    Gary JOhnson should be in this debate! He would win it!

    October 1, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Wake up people!

    @Ann, how many other presidents are referred to by their first, middle, or last names? Never President or Mr. President. How many other presidents have had their birth questioned? How many other presidents are called names like muslim, kenyan, etc? I'll answer for you. NONE, ZILCH. I could go on but what good will that do?

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 1, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Milton K. Wiah

    ED R, You are not different from many Americans whom I find arrogant, blinded by false promises from
    the republican party. You remember 2000 election, with strong economy, jobs, surplus, what the American
    did voted for republican president. After eight years you got, deficit, economy meltdown.
    This administration is not doing bad but you want to change to republican. What Mitt offer for the
    switch? even his budget guru could not point to one number to support his tax deduction and cut.

    October 1, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Beverly - NYC

    President Obama will own Romney from the handshake. Romney's toast, no matter which of his personalities show up, the moderate Mitt or the severly conservative Willard.

    October 1, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. John

    ABC News/Washington Post national poll, what a joke! Obama won't have his teleprompter and that ends Obamas chance to speak intelligently, we will see the Obama stumbling, bumbling fool we always see when Obama is off the teleprompter.

    October 1, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |

    Mitt Romney will win the debate and will defeat Barack Obama in November 2012

    October 1, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Ellen

    It's disgusting that the American people aren't getting to see ALL of the candidates who are on enough ballots to win the electoral college. The two-party system has a monopoly on the media. Otherwise, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would be at those debates, offering DIFFERENT solutions to the issues.

    October 1, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. bill

    mitt is going to get beat in these debates like he stole something....the GOP have no solutions to the great recession they created and will mitt will spend his time pandering to the neo-radical right wing extremists.

    October 1, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. mary smith

    I hate to inform you libs... but you are called what you deserve! He has done nothing for this country and if reelected the next four years will be the same.......no changes, broken promises........whispering to the russians, come on wise up!!!

    October 1, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Wake up people!

    Who the heck are Gary Johnson and Jill Stein?? Nobodies. If you want to be President, you need to be for all people not a selected few. I guarantee both of them could walk down a busy city street and NO ONE would have any idea who they were.

    November can't get here quick enough for me.

    October 1, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    Why don't you show the ABC poll that was just release that shows Romney gaining ground in the elections? Waiting for another CNN/ORC poll to show a big gap?

    October 1, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. bill

    hey mitt, why don't you release 12 years of your tax returns like Obama did?? I also want to see your birth certificate

    October 1, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. anoel2005

    There's another media cover up designed to help elect Obama
    .........the Labor dept. is pressuring Lockheed to NOT send out 120,000
    pink slips on account of sequestration.

    The Democrats don't want us to know that Lockheed alone will lose 120,000 jobs if sequestration occurs.

    What does Obama think about that ?Instead of a media story about that, we get 1000 stories about Romney's tax return..............the American ppl should sue the "main stream" media outlets for deliberately misleading us about Obama's administration.

    October 1, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. david

    If the presidents record truly comes out then Mitt should win.

    October 1, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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