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. FLW

    "boor" It's late.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. bronie495

    BIDEN= RUDE

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  3. Ann

    Funny because CNN's poll on their main page shows Biden with 65%. ABC also shows Biden winning by a long shot. CBS has Biden winning by 51% to Ryan's 31%. This has to be a misprint. CNN is also bad to jump the gun on things in a hurry to be the first one out with data. Of course Fox doesn't have a poll, but their reporters are always in favor of the republican party.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  4. Dee

    CNN (FOXlite) is disappointed that there was no Biden gaffe to talk about. So they discuss eye rolling. ???

    CNN – Fifth grade news

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  5. lakecountry

    Biden-Hands down. Plus his facial expressions and smiles as Ryan's nose grew longer with each lie were a hoot!

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  6. Jack

    where did you get your numbers? Biden "schooled" Ryan tonight.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. Susan

    Ryan won hands down. He stuck to the facts and stay on task even while Biden was being rude and interupting. I felt Biden was attacking the whole time. Ryan had facts and numbers.I can not imagine what is like at the Senate when you have people like Biden trying to talk over people. No wonder why nothing has gotten done the past four years. Ryan was more VP like Biden was more childish and imature. I can not belive that some people think obortion takes presidence over our National security and the Economy!!!

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  8. Donna

    Cnn needs to be fact checked.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. Jeanene Lee

    CNN I have been a devoted fan of u network for years as an Indepent enjoyed ur fairness to both sides both Rep and Dem..but 4 some reason this election u have turned towards Rep preference..don't believe me watch ur own tapes.I want to see both sides equally but ur now about 75% Rep views what happened money talks are u getting a kick back .think I will find something more fair in the future so disappointed ..I am now turning towards the Dem side

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  10. Joe Plumber

    Biden is a clown. Proved it again tonight.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  11. GFCeder

    For those who thought Biden won... I guess you prefer blowhards that make idiotic gaffs and will believe anything they say despite facts.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  12. Soren

    Biden won by a long shot! This poll is way off.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  13. karen

    I was very put off by Biden's constant sighing and interruptions. How could you think he won?

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  14. NameJordan

    Biden whipped him. Were we watching the same debate?

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  15. dlovbett

    Biden was the clear winner of this debate. What debate were you watching?

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  16. Mike Cirba

    Really? Are you kidding me? Who purchased your network, Rupert Murdoch?

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. dps

    Biden was overcompensating for Obama's lifeless performance in 1st debate.He was rude,and disrespectful.By the way Mr.VP,Syria is not 5 times bigger than Libya .Biden absurdly wrong "syria five times bigger than libya" FACTS libya 679,362 square miles- syria 71, 500 biden totally wrong.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  18. LineDrive

    Ryan was polite, professional, thoughtful, and informed. Biden interrupted, yelled, and bullied his way through the debate. And those facial expressions and weird grins of Biden's - ugh. One heartbeat away ... truly frightening.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. manning2miami

    Funny how the Republicans say Biden was rude and interrupted often, go back and watch last weeks debate and tell me the same about Romney? He did nothing but interrupt, go over his time limit, and try to speak over President Obama.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  20. jeff postman

    Ryan looked calm cool and collected, Biden looked like a deranged little league parent yelling at the umpire: "no!! you're lying! what!? (forced laughter) wrong wrong wrong!!"

    And of course Ryan still executed his arguments perfectly and put Biden in his place with a few choice lines, much to the otherwise silent crowd's enjoyment.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  21. sunmom

    Biden was rude to say the least.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  22. Mike

    Biden looked like an idiot: always laughed and smiled, broke answers Ryan. In addition, Biden engaged demagoguery and lied: he said he voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a lie – Biden voted for the conduct of these wars.

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  23. randy Le

    mr Biden is talk show not vice president

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. Nametarla cyrille

    Biden won!!! CNN stop leaning republican leave that to Fox

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. RonJon

    Biden looked unhinged. Smirking. Smiling. Laughing at inappropriate times. Biden reminded me of Col Jessup in A Few Good Men, smiling while getting grilled by Lt. Caffee. I kind of wish Ryan would have asked Biden, "You think this (debt, unemployment, war, Libya coverup, etc) is funny?

    October 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 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