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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Read more of today's political news on the CNN Political Ticker.

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. JSS

    Biden made a fool out of himself. Rude and reckless.What an embarrassment.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. Redman

    Biden was arogant and condescending who could not control interrupting Ryan. Why did he do this? Simply because he is unstable, unprofessionable and reflects the Dummycrap party is losing. Not to mention how he lied about Bhengazi.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Ikrom

    Where is this poll coming from? Really? Congressman Ryan was on defense most of the time and wasn't even able to answer simple questions Martha Raddatz asked. Do you really think that his team will be able to answer tough questions that our country is facing? And still Poll shows that Ryan won? Wow....

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. Danny

    Biden was as disrespectful as you can get, very un-presidential; I like how Biden out right lied about the whole Benghazi issue;Ryan was compised the whole time, no uncontrolled laughter, excessive smiling like Ignant Joe...another debate to the Rep/Cons's !

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  5. smilewbrian

    The major networks agree: Biden set the all-time bar for impoliteness during a debate. Not even Al Gore could compete when he repeatedly sighed and almost mugged George W. Bush during the debates twelve years ago.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  6. RuthBurns

    Yes! Biden is an idiot,

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  7. Ron Paul Fan

    Well, I'm a Ron Paul fan and was an undecided voter until tonight. That Biden dude was rude, arrogant and needs to get back on his meds ASAP. As of tonight I will be voting for Romney.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. Andy

    I think Biden won this debate, with all his experience and passion came handy at right time when badly needed, and Ryan had some fresh ideas than following same old failed policies. Before the debate people that other way this time too but results were just the opposite.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. Maria

    I thought it was close, but thought Mr. Biden was very rude. MR. Ryan seemed more straightforward.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  10. BTE986

    People are going to remember Biden's rudeness. Also, everybody is clamoring for Romney/Ryan to be more specific, but why are people not more upset for Obama/Biden not making their case for reelection. What are they going to in the next 4 years? Anything different than the last 4 years? Cause that sure didn't work. Obama is not running on his record, not telling us what his plans are, and simply attacking Romney/Ryan on their proposals. Where are his specifics. The electorate deserves better that what this administration is giving us in the way of their ideas and the media needs to accountable to that need,

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  11. Angie

    You just can't beat experience. Joe 's 40 plus years of experience in politics proved too much for the young Mr. Ryan. Also, I believe Joe.....but I gotta admit I don't feel Romney or Ryan are telling me the truth when they talk I always wonder what are they not saying...hmmmm..........

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Sorry CNN your polling os out of touch….

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  13. Name Dane

    Biden won he was agressive like he should be.I think he didnt hold back Ryan seemed weak.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. Unknown

    Ok, so Biden is rude and Romney wasn't to the president of The United States? In my opinion, Biden was aggressive just as Romeny was in the first presidential debate. I don't get it!

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  15. Melanie59

    I going to change to MSNBC

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Ali

    Looks like CNN wants us to believe what they want. CNN screw you. Biden was a clear winner. Great Job Obama / Biden. RR have no specific plan and want to implement old plans from Ronald Reagan times. Guess what Obama and Biden have original plans that do work.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. TS

    the poll says ryan won and cnn calls it a draw. since when is winning 48-44 a draw? Biden was so rude and disrespectful and we all saw it.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. jude ohio

    How are these "snap" polls conducted so instantaneously? Noone called me.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. gmon

    There was no clear winner. Obiden was a bit overboard with his reactions. The bottom line is I don't want more government.
    Obama's policies are driving us towards Socialism and that just does not work...ever!

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. Scott Olson

    You do realize that only you and Fox News consider Ryan the winner.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. paulainct

    It doesn't surprise me that Biden's rude and disrespectful behavior would have wide appeal in the 'social media' arena. Social media is the domain of a generation that thinks interrupting others is cool. What was being said on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else online is not of much value unless all those people are 'likely voters'.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Charles Hooper

    I agree with these results. Ryan was strong on his positions. Biden was disrespectful with his inappropriate laughter which lost him a win in this debate. Biden definitely showed more experience and passion. Ryan was respectful and gave a strong closing statement which in my opinion gave him the slight edge in the debate. The people I watched the debate with were very irritated the way Biden interrupted and the way he laughed condescendingly.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  23. jennifer

    Who did this poll? Ryan looked like a little kids trying to include numbers to look smart. He was outdone.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. uni

    Biden

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. John M

    Ryan knew his stuff. The Vice President just embarrassed himself.

    October 11, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194