Danville, Kentucky (CNN) - Call it a draw.
Forty-eight percent of voters who watched the vice presidential debate think that Rep. Paul Ryan won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Thursday night's faceoff. Forty-four percent say that Vice President Joe Biden was victorious. The Republican running mate's four point advantage among a debate audience that was more Republican than the country as a whole is within the survey's sampling error.
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Half of all debate watchers questioned in the poll said the showdown didn't make them more likely to vote for either of the candidates' bosses, 28% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 21% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.
According to the survey, 55% said that the vice president did better than expected, with 51% saying that the congressman from Wisconsin performed better than expected.
By a 50%-41% margin, debate watchers say that Ryan rather than Biden better expressed himself.
MORE: Romney calls Ryan with congratulations after debate
Seven in ten said Biden was seen as spending more time attacking his opponent, and that may be a contributing factor in Ryan's 53%-43% advantage on being more likable. Ryan also had a slight advantage on being more in touch with the problems of average Americans.
One of the top jobs for the candidates in a vice presidential debate is to convince Americans that they would be able to step into the top job if something happened to the president. The poll indicates that both men were seen as qualified to be president if necessary, by roughly equal numbers.
"This poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the debate and by definition cannot be an indication of how the entire American public will react to Wednesday's debate in the coming days," cautions CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
One-third of the respondents who participated in tonight's survey identified themselves as Republicans, with 31% identifying themselves as Democrats, and 34% identifying themselves as independents.
"That indicates that the sample of debate watchers is more Republican than an average of recent CNN polls of all Americans," adds Holland.
MORE: Obama: 'could not be prouder' of Biden debate
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 381 registered voters nationwide who watched the debate questioned by telephone. All interviews were conducted after the end of the debate. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points.
A CBS News poll of uncommitted voters who watched the debate gave Biden the edge over Ryan by a 50%-31% margin. Uncommitted voters made up roughly ten percent or less of the debate audience.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story
The real losers are the American people. "Debate"? What a performance!
I wouldn't say one particular v.p. candidate "won" the debate. They both did a very good job in my opinion. The debate was more in depth and Ryan explained a little bit about what their tax plan would look like, but Romney ultimately needs to do that, and in greater depth. Biden did a good job informing the public what their administration has done and what will likely happen if Romney becomes president. Overall I was impressed.
Joe Biden stated he thought the President clearly won his debate, until he remembered Romney isn't the President.
Joe Biden was GREAT
He is truly a Man of the People
Honest and good nature d – some thing that Republicans are not
Nothin' better than an articulate fightin' Irishman... Biden 2016 !!!
Biden won hands down!
I thought Joe Biden won so I don't know what debate youwere watching.
After watching tonight's debate I have come to a conclusion. Ryan, I could drink under the table. Biden, I'm not so sure.
It was obvious. Biden was in control. Ryan was out of his league. How is this even a debate? Biden summed him up and wiped the floor with him. Every time Ryan started to recite his pre-planned speech, Biden took control. Seriously?
You people all know Biden won...... stop trying to mislead us!!
Ryan so clearly won this debate. Independent voters don't care for rude, arrogant performances like Biden displayed.
Biden's arrogant, rude, and comical behavior was an embarrassment to his position and party. Obama must be worried...
I cannot accept a VP who has no lips. Obama, you're in!
joe biden won and made Ryan look like a little puppy
Ryan was the clear winner – Biden's constant interruptions , squirming and stumbling were distracting and annoying. According to AP, Biden was fibbing a lot more than Ryan too.
This guy Ryan, looks more like a back up dancer or something. Check out his pics on Time and this guy could be a heart beat from the most power man in the world. Give me a break...
Vice President Joe Biden won!
The box of secrets of the Romney / Ryan / Republican ticket is full.
The reality is revealed in the '47% are irresponsible' tape.
Hard to see how being rude can be a winning debate tactic. As my wife said, this was a depressing debate. What we wanted to see was clarity and civility. Maybe Joe won arguments, but I couldn't tell. I was distracted by his behavior.
I didn't watch. I won!
Do you trust Ryan to help decide if you will get Social Security and Medicare when you retire from decades of work?
Yeah, this is ridiculous. Biden won. He definitely controlled the conversation, and chuckled a bit too much. But Romney used similar tactics last week and was awarded a win too. All's fair in love & war...
close debate in my opinion
I though Biden did a great job. He did not let Ryan run away with his half truths. Word of the day: Malarkey.