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. anniem

    Our President will chew Romney up and spit him out from the first word...Romney has no clue about anything, not even his own tax returns. He is the Teabag puppet and they won't be there to pull his strings...

    October 1, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Seven gartner

    Doesnt matter. Romney can't win, and thankfully! He's a fool, and actually believes in Joseph Smith's Prophecy! all i can say to that is, hahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahhha

    October 1, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Seven gartner

    you christian right wingers make me laugh almost til my stomach hurts and vomits

    October 1, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Loathstheright

    Mitt the Twitt is going to lose big time...all he has to do is open his mouth.

    October 1, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Seven gartner

    Romney can't even beat himself. He's done himself in numerous times and his idiotic young pardner' doesnt help him either. Bad Choice, Bad campaign, and loss is headed his way. Plus, his hair sucks

    October 1, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. MBW

    Democrats need to have a very large turnout during the general elections to overcome the Republican Party's unethical
    voter I.D. requirements, fraudulent voter registrations in battleground states, and gerrymandered districts which put Democrats to a disadvantage. Oh, and it's "hanging chad" time in Florida again.

    October 1, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Hank

    Doesn't matter how many zingers alexithymic Mitt has lined up-–the MITTanic has taken on too much water.

    October 1, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Dave

    Romney will win if the media does not distort the debate process.

    October 1, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    I really do not give DARN HOOT. This forty seven percent will flip-flop, this idiot said nasty comment on middle class America. Yes, stronger on OBAMA12. Period.

    October 1, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If I was President Obama, I'd come to an agreement with Romney to hold the debates in private before each candidate's prospect supporters. See, I believe the only time Romney tells what's in his mind and heart is when he's behind closed doors. Rightwing hypocrite and deceitful tax evading criminal.

    October 1, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. gregor1971

    People forget that Obama was a pretty bad debater in 2008. Hillary beat him each time. Obama is bad when he is off the teleprompter, as seen in this election cycle. When he doesn't have the words written down in front of him, he makes lots of mistakes.

    October 1, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Vito Corleone

    Obama's gonna loose, Obama's gonna loose. The worst president in US history is going to loose the election and there is no way the mainstream media can spin it that will change the outcome. Liberals still don't realize that the popular vote does not decide the election for president. That is up to the electoral college, which will decide who is best to lead the country, the economy and job killer or Mitt Romney.

    October 1, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Florida Joe


    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.
    Seem to me the only stumbling bumbling fool is Romney without his teleprompter.....he sure did well speaking off the cuff in Boca where he told America how he really feels about the 47%...............Now that man is a FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    President Obama, the Greatest President in U.S. history is going to carry 47 states and beat the tax evading criminal by a landslide.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 1, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. judith

    Vito, Obama's gonna "loose." Too bad you can't spell, but anyone there is no way Mittens change the electoral math. Can you read any the maps and do the math? Obama's been ahead all along and now is ahead in Ohio and Florida, There is virtually no way that Mitt can pull of a game changer. Remember, Obama did quite well in debating old McCain and look how that turned out.

    October 1, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Brian Jud

    I have a hard time with this because candidates don't win or lose debates. There's no winner or loser. Each side thinks their candidate is right and the other is wrong.

    October 1, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Vito Corleone

    Obama's gonna loose, Obama's gonna loose. The worst president in US history is going to loose the election and there is no way the mainstream media can spin it that will change the outcome. Liberals still don't realize that the popular vote does not decide the election for president. That is up to the electoral college, which will decide who is best to lead the country, the economy and job killer or Mitt Romney.
    Obama leads or is tied with Romney is virtually every swing state except for NC. Now, run along and play. By the way, did you see Santino?

    October 1, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. lindylou123

    Pres, Obama will be his usual likeable, intelligent, thoughtful self – with or without a teleprompter ( right wing nut bag talk)
    ans Romney will be his usual stupid self with no details just a bunch of empty promises. He may be the dumbest guy yet to run for president.

    October 1, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Sam

    gregor1971. I am not sure you watched those debates. Obama was hot in the debates and of course, Hillary did well too. But to say he was bad in the debates and that Hillary beat him each time is just not true.

    October 1, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Indy

    President Obama has not debated in sometime and Romney has had lightweight debates where he could easily lie to his base without being held in check so if Obama sticks to the truth he should do well. Romney has been retroactively retired for several years from business so his experience in fixing a global economy is non existent. Every economy in the free world is held together by the middle class and whoever has the backs of the middle class will be the one that has the answers to turn the economy around. Governments around the world help the private sector create and supply innovation and the candidate that supports education and innovation is the right person to lead

    October 1, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. freelance

    Romney will win the debate, but will lose the election. He lost his focus on hammering the president on the economy and strayed into foreign policy which is actually one of Obama's stronger points. It's pretty late in the game to change anything.

    October 1, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. wootdude

    hey, umm, anoel2005, I am not sure where you get your info, but I work for Lockheed and we have about 120,000 employees and I'm pretty sure not all of us are getting laid off if the sequestration occurs. They plan on sending out about notices to about 10,000 people that they MAY lose their jobs. And that is just to cover their @$$3$ in case they do have to lay off folks. But it won't be the full 10,000. So take you scare tactics and your media coverup conspiracy back to Fox News.

    October 1, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. anoel2005

    it will depend on the questions, and since liberal loonies like Candy Crowley will be asking them............."we the people" will be told by the media that Obama is the only viable choice.


    October 1, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. No brainer

    Obama will eat Romney for breakfast! Romney can't keep facts straight for the life of him. He will be flip flopping by the minute and sound like a complete buffoon.

    October 1, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So let's see how Romney is going to wing the debate...

    First he's going to tell the American people that he was on drugs when he said it was a waste of federal money and wasn't wise saving the auto industry.

    Then he's going to tell the American people that when he said its not his job to worry about 47% of the American people, he actually was referring to 47% of the Chinese workers working in the companies he shipped to China.

    Then he's going to tell the American people that he was on PCP when he said he's against equal pay for equal work, an increase in the minimun wage, against Gay and Lesbian rights, against women's rights, union rights and against strenghtening medicare and medicaid.

    Then he's going to say that when he endorsed GWB's failed and misguided policies foreign and domestic policies, he was just etch-a-sketching his way as he goes along as directed by his campaign.

    October 1, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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