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. anticomm

    Stalin, Hitler, Mao were the most popular leaders. Did they lead in a right direction?

    October 1, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. norma jean

    WHO WILL WIN THE DEBATE?......Obviously the one who will win the debate is the one with his feet on the ground and not in his mouth!!!
    !

    October 1, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Romney > obama

    Obama is better at debating, right? He's a lawyer and is more charismatic.... That said, obama is also a weak, inept president.

    As long as obama stays away from his record, he should be OK.

    October 1, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    Here is the TRUTH. (if you can handle it) If Barack Hussein Obama is re-elected, Americans will experience the biggest political allocation of wealth and opportunity
    ----–

    Name one single thing he did in the last 4 years that would make any sane person believe one lick of what you are saying... Yeah, that's what I thought. please go back to Fox for some more talking points or maybe better yet, open up a newspaper and learn something.

    October 1, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. ronb

    Romney can win all three debates. He still ain't gettin my vote because I know a whole heck of alot of those 47%'ers who work like dogs in the hot sun or freezing rain....just to pay for their family to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs!! Yeah, I'll vote for Romney if he wins the debates....AND hell freezes over. This election is over. Now, we all see why the GOP went with McCain in 2008 and McCain went with Palin. Nuff said.

    October 1, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Brittan

    I own a ATM company. If people knew how many PEOPLE WERE GETTING GOVERNMENT MONEY, They would run to the polls to vote for Romney. Believe me. You might think that i would want this sort of business. But I DONT!! I want people WORKING AGAIN!! my company will be BETTER if people use my ATMS because they have a JOB! This is very serious. I STAND WITH MITT....

    October 1, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Dave from GA

    I am sure that conservatives will say Mitt will win the debate meanwhile other liberals will say Obama will win one. The genuine prediction will fall down to moderates.

    October 1, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. R H

    Don't argue, talk to family, neighbors, people at work about the difference between the two candidates. Then be an example and VOTE! O/B 2012

    October 1, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. CS Bell-Hunter

    Polls are only meaningful to those who have their eyes wide shut! Americans should exercise one of the most important and basic rights of a true democracy ... the right to think for yourself and voice your choice with a vote. All else is meaningless.

    October 1, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. Sorensen

    Obama really has to do little more than show up. Romney is so empty and mentally screwed up, that he will dig himself
    deeper and deeper into trouble the more he says. The poor guy never had a chance in the first place.

    October 1, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Polar Bear

    Hmm. Polls in a virtual deadheat even though the sample is "D plus 8." Ain't lookin' good for the Obamites.

    October 1, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. I'M JUST SAYING TOO...

    President Obama, real quick before the game comes on, why not just stay home Wednesday. Help the girls with their homework. Let Michelle try on that new outfit she bought for your next speaking engagement and you tell whether you like it or not.. You might as well knock out some of this family stuff while we wait for your opponents to tell us JUST WHAT THEY ARE GONNA DO to help the country!!! Take it easy for a minute, then pop up at the next debate and show them how an INTELLIGENT man will continue to move the country FORWARD!!!!!

    October 1, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. shushe

    Empty vessels make much noise , those who are talking big wait and see .

    October 1, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  14. manhandler

    Now we've entered the stage where the media will tweak it's tactics in order to keep this a horse race. After all, a boring election will cost them millions. So expect to see more and more positively slanted stories about Romney and more negatively slanted stories about Obama. Same with polls. They'll make a slight change in the way they ask the questions or change exactly who a 'likely voter" is all in order to tighten the polls.

    October 1, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. cathy wolff

    Don in albuquerque and B4cons you both have my vote!

    October 1, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. Newme1

    I really don't care how well Mitt performs in the debates, he's a liar and will I will never vote for him. My mind is already made up and I'm voting for Obama. Mitt is having a hard time running his campaign and that is a clear indication of how he would run the country. I think voters should take Ann's concern seriously about Mitt's mental health should he become President.

    October 1, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    We need to put Obama too far from Mittens, he may hit our president, because Mitt is a crazy idiot. You remember, mitt was about to hit Rick Perry...I was scared then.

    October 1, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Mike in Texas

    Four and the door,

    Where is this great crafted plan you keep referring too? Mitt hasn't told the public what it is. Are you one of those rich donors who are the only ones he tells? His five point plan is more like five old tired talking points. Seriously, tell us his great plan in detail instead of tired old rhetoric.

    October 1, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Mike in Texas

    For those who are bringing up gas prices. Did you remember when the average price of gas was $4.11 a gallon in July 2008, the highest in our history? Do you remember who the President was? Do you remember why it dropped below $2.00 a gallon?

    If you really believe Romney will give you $2.00 you are truly a fool.

    October 1, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. miki thinks

    Romney showed his true feelings at the $50K a plate dinner. The 47% moochers like me and my husband, (rwo bronze stars), knew that we were hearing the true Mitt. He can thump his chest and clain that he feels our pain. He can tell us that his proposed tax cuts for his wealthy contributors will trickle down to create jobs for us but he just does not feel anyone's pain and we saw that. Regardless of how well they coached him and how many smart zingers he can throw out, we have seen his true character and it is wanting.

    October 1, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. petena

    Debates won't make one bit of difference. Its the policies that cout. Its over for Mitt.

    October 1, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. Ed

    I don't get how you have an "International" poll with "likely voters". Maybe there is something to this whole voter fraud thing.

    October 1, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  23. mogran

    Mitt/Ryan 2012!

    October 1, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. Mary72

    The right wing whackos will say the media is against Romney, blah, blah if the polls show Romney training. They will say the same if Romney goofs the debate. So, what is the point.

    October 1, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. JayDeeT

    The first question nust go tio Romney: does he believe that Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen? If he goves any answer other that "yes," they should terminate the debte, because what's the use of a debate with a hate-monger?

    October 1, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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