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. jvnvch

    Gallup should be going to LV from RV soon, and that should put Romney ahead, based on the history of Gallup presidential polling in previous elections.

    October 8, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. Kolob extractor

    Kolob lovers are not going to have him bullying people as president.

    October 8, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. James B

    If President Obama was down in the polls 49 to 46 percent, would it be considered a tie? We don't need the media treating the presidential election like a sporting contest. We need the media to identify and elaborate on the issues that will matter to millions of people after the election. A 3 percentage point lead for Obama is not a tie, it is a 3 percentage point lead. Which, if I remember, is pretty much where it was before the debate. Instant analysis: no post debate bump for Mr. Romney. Now, can we talk about troops in Iraq, what the congress is doing to help the president, farm bill, veteran bill, etc. Come on CNN, get it together.

    October 8, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. MollyBee

    Never mind that Romney out and out lied about everything. Be assured that Romney/Ryan's intentions include: privatizing SS, Medicare and Medicaid (turning health care control over to Wall Street insurers 100%); tax cuts for the wealthy and more corporate welfare (after all, he believes corps are 'people' and giving the wealthy more money will create jobs); raising middle class taxes by ending middle class deductions (what Romney is referring to when he says 'loopholes'); continue to support corporations who send jobs to other countries; cut funding for education; privatize the student loan program; cut the food-stamp program for America's poor children; reinstate discrimination in health care by repealing health care reforms; repeal consumer safe-guards in the financial sector; abandon efforts to improve U.S. infrustructure; abandon clean energy efforts; and, perhaps most importantly, strive to weaken the PEOPLE'S government and, in effect, make it a government totally controlled by Wall Street. He is, after all, a Wall Street tycoon and expecting him to act differently if elected President is foolish. We need a President AND Congress that believe in our country and its people.

    October 8, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. Pro dem but...

    As a true dem..But I am somewhat happy Romney is catching up in the polls. I am with Barack..but I am so sick of him and the Dems being so gullible. Obama god love him but he and the dems GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TOO MUCH CREDIT...yup..thats right I said it. When it comes to politics..the American people don't know that much about policy..and usually vote with their heart. Getting on stage at the debate without any passion and sounding like a college professor was not going well. He and even the GOP know..he could have ended the election that night..the video hung Romney..and obama didn't even mention it...which was odd..because he said it on the stump all the time, with less people watching. Sure he was making a case for his re election..but no red meat. No passion..thats what the base and the people want to see...Passion. Romney, though lying had the passion..and despite his lying..more and more American people will buy what he says, because they will not do the research to see if he is telling the truth. obama needs to get tougher sure..but what ever happened to that guy at the 2004 DNC...with all that passion and believability. He better get it back..because "Flip-Robme" is one of the greatest shadiest car salesman at all times

    October 8, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. sirock

    You can't defend obama's lies can you? Attacking Rush and Beck is not defending obama and his lies is it? Beck and Rush are not running are they? This lier lier pants on fire defence for a poor debate is sad hoss can't you see that? obama froze during the debate because he knew he was getting caught in his lies. Loved his statement about domestic oil production Romney caught him their and then obama relized he better be very careful with his story. BTW if their are laws rewarding companies for exporting jobs overseas then why hasen't obama tried to change them? He did have a super majority for two years

    October 8, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. skytag

    I thought the debate was a disaster. Romney had a much stronger presence, but many of his attacks weren't honest. Obama seemed wholly unprepared for Romney's strong personality, let several comments he could have attacked slide, and was debating against the "severely conservative" Romney from his primary days instead of the more moderate Romney now that he's shifted more to the center.

    October 8, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  8. clare

    Why don't everyone give President Obama more time. he is working to make the u.s.a respected nation again. he is creating jobs. the rich sent a lot of jobs overseas. also, you're not counting the millions working off of the books. the rich got foreigners doing the housework and yards. these people are taking up jobs that's not counted. and, they stopped hiring us so that President Obama looks bad. did you ever think of the games they.play. they want the us to fall so the NEW WORLD ORDER can take over.

    October 8, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Willard is still trailing in Ohio. As so goes Ohio, so goes the nation. The auto bailout may have something to do with that.

    October 8, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. Ben M

    It could be 52% to 46% since we have 3% sample of error. Why is the error always goes on the loosing side? So the title should not be "Poll: Romney and Obama tied after first debate"!

    October 8, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. Greg

    It is indeed a sad message, when the country is so divided between such lame duck candidates.

    October 8, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Douglas

    Popular-vote polls like this one are misleading. Take a look at the state-by-state polls, then add up the respective electoral votes and you'll see that Obama is still pretty comfortably in the lead. Remember the 2000 election? Popular vote doesn't elect presidents in this country.

    October 8, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  13. JohnJRock

    It should read that Romney leads poll for being "deceiptful". . .should the press be following up on false and mis-leading statements made by him?

    October 8, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Michel

    Obama has enough he is readyand wants to throw in towel. he can not handle U.S.Presidency. He thought it will be sail in the heaven White house free continental food and free world tour for him and his family. GOOD BUY JOCKER.

    October 8, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Colin

    I can win a debate too if no one calls me on it when I just make everything up as I go along.

    October 8, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. kellys

    So Romney is actually losing ground at this point since Oct 3-6 they were tied at 47% in this same poll. Historically he needs to be ahead consistently to win in the end.

    October 8, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. Justin

    Romney definitely sounded more like a "Commander in Chief" during the debate.

    October 8, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. jorgesedano

    why not likely voters?

    October 8, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. Jared

    God help us if Romney somehow wins this...

    October 8, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  20. Harry Baxter

    Why is it that 3 points is a "slight edge" for the president, but it would be a "huge lead" for Romney? if Romney was ahead. The media, in my opinion, is only trying to attract attention, since Romney is at a practically unsurmountable disadvantage in the Swing States, For the Republicans, it gives them talking points to keep the uninformed enthusiastic, but Nate Silver still gives the President a better than 5 to 1 chance of winning. Bet at your own risk, Republican faithful.

    October 8, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Steve

    Obama – The first "socialist with a credit card" president.

    October 8, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. TY

    I dont understand way people are voting for Romney. He has issue , he change his step all the time. So you don't really know what he is all about. I don't want no one in the office to change their mind on this and that. Because think about this people now close your eyes. Romney get a 3am call how is he going to handle it ? Maybe he will declare war than he wants to change his mind. This man has serious issues. Seem like a nice cat, but not fit for the office until he has his head together, which i dont think he well. My friends please think about this. The election goes deeper than what you think. The world will change as we know it if he is in...........it will go back to the wonder years !

    October 8, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  23. Milt

    Put a folk in Obama, he's done! He has been exposed, as being inept and clueless, couldn't talk to kindergarten children without his teleprompter!

    October 8, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. ForGoodOfAll

    The first debate showed that Jim Lehr is an unfit debate monitor.

    October 8, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. End the two parties

    Woo Hoo ! Go Blue team ! Go Red Team!

    No matter who wins the American people Will lose....

    October 8, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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