Poll: Romney and Obama tied after first debate
October 8th, 2012
07:35 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Romney and Obama tied after first debate

Washington (CNN) – A new national poll suggests Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got a bounce out of last week's first presidential debate.

According to Gallup's latest seven-day tracking poll, President Barack Obama has a slight 49%-46% edge over Romney among registered voters nationwide, which is within the survey's sampling error. But Gallup breaks down their poll into pre- and post- debate figures.

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The Gallup poll indicates that Obama held a 50%-45% advantage over Romney from September 30-October 2, the three days leading up to last Wednesday's presidential debate in Denver, Colorado. According to the survey, Romney and Obama were deadlocked at 47% each in the three days after the debate, from October 4-6.

The Gallup poll will be just one of a slew of national and state polls conducted after the debate that will be released this week.

The Gallup poll also indicates that 72% of people who watched the showdown say that the former Massachusetts governor did a better job in the debate, with only one in five saying the president had the better performance. The Gallup survey is in-line with a CNN/ORC International poll of debate watchers that was conducted and released right after last Wednesday's faceoff.

According to the Gallup poll, Republican debate watchers overwhelming thought that Romney performed better, with seven in ten independents agreeing. By a 49%-39% margin, Democrats who watched the debate also agreed that Romney had the better performance.

"The debate appears to have affected voters to some degree, given the narrowing of the race in the three days after the debate compared with the three days prior. Still, the impact was not so strong that it changed the race to the point where Romney emerged as the leader among registered voters," says a release by Gallup.

Most national polls of likely voters conducted by other organizations indicated a slight tightening of the race in the week leading up to last week's debate. Obama and Romney face off in two more debates, and Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP running mate, hold their only debate this Thursday.

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone, with 1,387 registered voters nationwide. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. GM

    It is very hard to defend a bad record in front of your opponent.

    October 8, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. It's About Moving Forward

    The debate was good for Romney however, the real debate in this country is that about moving the country forward! That is what people are really looking at! Ideas, ways to help the people, ways to improve the economy, ways to return what the people have invested into Social Security and other programs that Romney would quickly and unfairly take away. So, it's not how good Romney debated, it's all about how President Obama stays on top in Moving the Country Forward as he showed us that he would continue doing during his second term! He Deserves Our Vote! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!

    October 8, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  3. Manny

    Do the 1 in 5 who think the president did a better job in the first debate, believe he did a better job in the second debate also?

    October 8, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. John Bull

    Romney Vows To Arm Al-Qaeda Terrorists In Syria

    In promising to arm the “Syrian” rebels – the majority of whom are not even Syrian – Romney has pledged to send taxpayer money to Al-Qaeda militants who have been responsible for carrying out terrorist attacks which have killed hundreds of people.

    October 8, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  5. JPX

    Obama will easily win. Romney will not be president because of one debate. Also, Romney did not answer any questions in the debate, he offered no specifics.

    October 8, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. leo

    Mitt Romeny will be the next president of The United States. Mr. Obama YOUR FIRED!

    October 8, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Misleading headline: the change (3%) is within the sampling error (also +/- 3%).

    October 8, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. reginaldb6

    Now since Romney finally got his bounce after not getting one for picking Ryan, or his convention now the Republican and Romney are embracing the Polls. What a JOKE. Obama will win for a second term.

    October 8, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. pprty

    I'm sick of not getting the news from Seattle (KING 5 news, KOMO, & KIRO). There was a HUGE fire along Interstate 5 by Smokey Point. Hundreds of cars drove slowly by it. NOTHING in the news! A woman with her throat slashed crawled out of the woods last Friday. Nothing about it in the news except that someone had been arrested. The Seattle area news is the worst in the country!!!!

    October 8, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  10. blacks for obama

    My vote is already n debate or not. Mitt would have left the auto industry hanging thats enough said. Go Obama

    October 8, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. obamaphone

    I will vote for Obama because he gave me my free obamaphone. If Romney wins, he will take that away and I will have to work for a living. I like my gov't handouts that Obama provides... Vote Obama!

    October 8, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. pmangr

    It's a sad testament to America when Mitt Romney is only judged by his "Performance" in the debate, and not on the substance of what he was saying. It seems that everyone turned the sound off and just watched the mannerisms. We, as a country, are in serious trouble if we think that if you go on stage and lie your butt off, but put on a good 'performance", that you "won" anything. Mitt shouldn't be rewarded for his blatant lies, he should be punished.

    I'll say what I've said all along. It isn't MItt's fault that he a flip-flopping liar. It's merely indicative of what it takes to win an election in a country that considers politics to be a blood sport, win at any cost.

    October 8, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Chilly

    Remember, though–there's a reason they called it a "performance." He did perform better, perhaps got some acting lessons from his debate coaches. But walking back everything he has run on to date only means it is just that–an act. Please don't expect us to actually BUY what you're selling, Gov. Romney.

    October 8, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  14. pkrbkr

    as we thought, Romney will say whatever it takes to "close the deal.." he's a slippery snake. Much of what he said is out and out lies.....Obama/Biden 2012

    October 8, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  15. Milton K. Wiah

    If anybody says the American people think different it is true. How can this man who switches position every day
    even had a chance to be a presidential contender.
    Even if Obama is a black man can you trust this man (Mitt), I know he is getting the pass because he is a white boy who
    does not any wrong, that is not what we are talking about in this election.

    October 8, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  16. pprty

    I'm sick of not getting the news from Seattle (KING 5 news, KOMO, & KIRO). There was a HUGE fire along Interstate 5 by Smokey Point. Hundreds of cars drove slowly by it. NOTHING in the news! A woman with her throat slashed crawled out of the woods last Friday. Nothing about it in the news except that someone had been arrested. The Seattle area news is the worst in the country!!!!

    October 8, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. John

    Tied until the VP debate and when Biden puts his foot all the way in to his mouth (as he has done many times) then we will see it shift to Romney's favor.

    October 8, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. clare

    Your gallop poles stasticts depends on the area you took the stastics. stastics can be made to show what ever results you want. i don't believe the gallop pole. people are still looking at Romney as a dangerous person to put in the white house. he blew it with big bird. it goes to show his don"t care arrogance. he"s going to run our country in the ground, if he gets in. the republicans have always been starting wars for money. now, it's for the oil. Guatemala has a hugh oil field. after Iran, next Guatemala

    October 8, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. troy

    People are so dumb.

    October 8, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  20. Anonymous

    MISLEADING Headline. If Romney wins I shall be getting closer to my GOD because then I would know the the end of time is near!!!

    October 8, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. bill florida

    What a joke you are seven in ten, one in five does this soften the blow for your left leaning writing Journalist which you are not report news not SLANT it. Keep it up because the voters are smarter today than you think

    October 8, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  22. Romney did his homework and deserves to win. Period!

    I'm a passionate supporter of the president. But Romney won the debate handily both on making his case and on style. No question about it! Yes, Romney won by doing a complete 180 on almost every issue but he won it nevertheless. And the president, instead of calling him out and challenging him on ever one of those issues, he left that job to us, the viewers and the pundits. A deer caught in a headlight looked better than how the president looked at that debate.

    If Romney wins this election, it will be because of his debate performance. That's how big this was. The Obama camp can try to deny it and spin it all day long if they want but I would advise them to acknowledge their complete failure and work to salvage whatever is left or safe their energy and money for 2016 and hand over this one to Romney.

    October 8, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  23. rtbrno65

    I would have thought there would have been more of a bounce for Romney than that.

    October 8, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. DC Johnny

    I can't imagine why Obama lost the debate, what with his track record of fighting unemployment with 2 years of Healthcare mandates that include job-crushing taxes, followed by another 2 years of pleas to tax the job creators some more.

    October 8, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. Ohio Voter

    Our family's reaction to the debate was much different. I found Romney to be aggressive and rude during the debate. My daughter's high school governmnt class agreed. All the students thought Romney was disrespectful and rude; he kept wanting to interrupt and butt in. My son thought he had simply memorized his lines. We were not impressed with Romney, and we don't agree with his views.

    October 8, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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