October 11th, 2012
11:25 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Debate watchers split on who won VP debate

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

soundoff (4,842 Responses)
  1. Marco

    Oh you Rom-nuts...you really think a guy laughing at complete and total BS is "arrogant and rude"? Why, because he's right to be laughing at the BS Ryan was spewing? Ryan couldn't drum up a single actual outline of ANY plan, with the exception of the laughable 20% flat tax

    You people are delusional, ignorant, and deserve to have your pensions stripped from you if you vote for these tax dodging, knuckledragging WASPS.

    Go back to watching Honey Boo Boo...I think you'll understand it far better.

    October 12, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. NameJuan Miguel

    I find it funny how quick Americans have forgotten what republicans did to this great nation .I believe not that Joe Biden won the debate but that we the people won because this debate has served to once again show that the GOP is and will continue to be supportive of the few in exchange for the total dimise of the many .

    October 12, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Ellis

    Biden laughed and giggled when his first wife and daughter were killed in an auto accident so laughing is nothign new to him.

    October 12, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. matt

    @justeeny can u please share the plan with the rest of america, cause r/r has yet to. And offensive as a soldier ryan wanting to put more soldiers in harms way and start more wars, chief thats offensive!

    October 12, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Toni g

    Biden won on substance alone, but man has he got style! Ryan, like the big R, can never offer specifics. He was especially hilarious when he said they would get down to it when they sit down with the democrats. So where did his numbers come from? BTW CNN Eric Erikson is a total ass. We have quit watching you in protest of this jerk.

    October 12, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. SH

    Yahoo poll says Biden:Ryan 65%: 19%, CNN online poll says 61%:39% , my observation says 65%:35%. why is this article saying opposite?

    October 12, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. John BP

    I think people are now tired hearing same rethoric of the cndidates especial Mitt Romney's teams what they should do if elected this forthcoming Presidential Election. Anyone can say or promise all he./she wants infront of media but it doesn't mean anything --this is not the first time and (WE) should be aclamated by now. Promises or I am gonn do this etc.etc only are words coming out from the mouth but when doing the (things) are true diffirent story. GOP insisting that Obama's adinistration didn't do nothing in 43 months in office and the economy is now worser than before. I have explanation for these: first the economy is already in chaos when Pre. Obama took over the helm. Democrats are being blame for not doing anything in four years–of course the Democrats side are piinned down and cannot do anything because of GOP filibusteringi of the .SoEPUBLICANS CONTROLLED CONGRESS. So, if you like Obama tookover the mess created by GOP before there were booted out of office, the government must and function and that induced forcreful spending that cannot be avoided. "Is this a simple explanation why we had had bad economy! Another thing in case people don't understand "economy) is cycle and part of life. It like a wheel that goes up and down. No wizard, nor President, or magician can cure economic chaos with nap of a finger. Economy is a cycle that when it comes it will creat its own pattern, time until its ready to restore itself to prosper. Folks if are things I have said are lies prove it to me and I am willing to listen, Godbless!#

    October 12, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Name dennis

    biden won ryan was totaly out classed

    October 12, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Aeyes

    I am sick to death of crazy folks saying Biden loss this debate. 1). What fool in their right mine would want to pay more taxes than a rich person.? 2). What fool would want to have a voucher for social security? 3). What woman would want someone else making decisions on their body? What fool would vote for their kids not to receive help to attendi college? We all have money like Roomey said. Just ask your parents. What fool would vote for a insurance to limit the amount of insurance a person would have? What fool would rather be in a war than fix things that need fixing such as roads, schools and housing? If you are the fool that believe we should fight other countries battles. If you you are that fool that would like to have all of the above, then you deserve what you will get with the Romney/Ryan ticket. You are too dumb to know any better.

    October 12, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. NameSTEPHANIE NATION

    Why is it rommney is seen as a hero for acting an Asda but biden does the same and its bad

    October 12, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. Magie

    Last week at the Presidentail debate, Mmitt was rude, cut-in, and was very disrespectul. I can only guss that those of you that are critical of Biden's performance evidently did not see the debate last week. But, yet, those who are on board with the Mitt/Ryan ticket so it as a knock performanc by Mitt. But, now that Biden has done the exactly the same thing in his debate as his leader, Biden is all wrong, a bully, mean, and the whoel bit. If Biden had not jumped in, Ryan would have done as Mitt. But, Biden beat him to the "punch" so to speak. The newspapers and everyone criticized Obama. very badly, and I agree that he did not giive a show, but gave and discussed his plan. Mitt, on the other hand talked and hopped and raved so that he forgot his lives. Mitt did what he did because he did not want Obama to bring up the 47% of Americans, his tax returns, his money in offshore accounts, buying stock with a company in China, and sold it while he began running for office. Mitt is a flip flopper and if anyone with just a mustard seed of common sense should see where this man's heart is at, and it is NOT with the average middle-class, and poor Americans. But Oh, Republicans want to talk about Biden. Obama, let Mitt get away with his lies. Mitt lied so much until Obama began to tune him out and disengage himself, which in the end hurt him. But, I can see how one can do that because a liar is difficult to deal with, and you really can't defend a lie. Obama tuned him out. Well Biden say, NO, not twice with the guys. But, when Ryan began to tell those same lies, instead of tuning Ryan out as Obama, he smile, laugh, and shook his head, and that was a whole lot better that standing there looking down. Now I just heard on the news that someone just shot at the President's camp. This is a example of the evil that is in this country. People know that Mitt is not for the average working American, but they would rather vote against Obama, and vote for a man that cares nothing about them, and why.....because he is classified as an African American. As for Rush Limbo, he needs to go and hide under a big rock.

    October 12, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. NameJuan Miguel

    I find it funny how quickly the American people have forgotten what the Republicans did to this great country ... Joe Biden won the debate ,well truly the people won because this debate like soo many before it only serves to show what most of us already know . That is that the GOP fights for the few even if that means crippling the opportunity of the many ........I wish polygraphs were used in these debates like that we could all save time and tax dollars by rooting these squid republicans out of Washington . Not all but a while lot more then 47% lol ......

    Juan Miguel

    October 12, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Name Sheon1

    Nope Paul lied got called on his and Romey's lies.
    Not a winner!

    October 12, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. NameSTEPHANIE NATION

    This election is a mess and America will pay for being dirty

    October 12, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. Barbara.

    Biden well done,I was very proud of him.I am a republican but I voter for oboma/Biden before and willdo so again.

    October 12, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. george

    i'm a true independant, neither won in my book, the untruths and stretches were just too much for me, i don't trust obama, nor romney, romnet is just wanting to fill his pockets with my money and obama is just wanting to spend more of my money he gets. that make neither a good choice, sure on election day i will pick the least of two evils. but traditionally it won't be the money takers who only want to fill thier pocket. but donald duck is looking better every day!!!

    October 12, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Bden was rude and very unprofessional, laughing like a hienna

    October 12, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. Walt

    Ryan won the debate because Joe Biden acted like a clown. Ryan at least believes in something as opposed to phonies like Biden that go to Church and pretend they are Catholics for votes.

    October 12, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Thinker

    Biden wins, Ryan lies and loses.

    October 12, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Leah

    Clearly Biden won, every democrat knows that 44% is greater than 48%. Give me a break!!! Dilusional Dems and CNN as well

    October 12, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. Bushney

    Split?? The only thing I saw splitting was Ryan's lip after that beating.

    October 12, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. MightyOak

    Ask yourself, after watching thius debate who would you rather have a heartbeat away from the Presidency? I would have to say Paul Ryan, without a doubt or hesitation! Joe Biden was acted like a Goon on a hockey team. His job was to try to take out Paul Ryan and he failed miserably! R/R is up 2-0.

    October 12, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Brent

    I think Biden should rethink his statement that Iran does not have a way to get bomb to Israel. That looks weak.

    October 12, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. terry abney

    I will vote Romney but both sides scares the hell out of me , but as far as a winner Ryan won as Biden was careless an overbearing an made no sense , he was trying to make up for the Pres. debate an clearly has no knowledge of how to tie his shoes , and as far as the rest, well we the tax payers pay for everything an if they would make a level playing field on how an what medicare or social security means to the tax payer then we would all benefit but we pay for there retirement but have none for ourselves , there lies the problem an we will all pay and they the politicians get the benefits , on how its spent and they don't care , because if they did then we and the politicians would be on the same page . to bad George Washington isn't alive today , but this is what we have .

    October 12, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. andrea Kline

    This was your polling results and you call yourselves a news organization?

    October 12, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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