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. hijackthemic

    Lot of people laughing at CNN over this poll, but I guess we can't say for sure if they stocked their poll with Republicans just to get a free mention on Fox News or if they honestly got a nonsense result. Maybe they really didn't mean to be incompetent looking on this one.

    October 12, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  2. Brad

    Biden looked like a disrespectful nut case. Just because your loud and rude, doesn't mean you won a debate. Biden didn't even come close to winning.

    October 12, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  3. Lou Paliani

    I am very sadden to see Biden's behavior and tell myself that he is the Vice-President of the United States. He presented himself as the iconic sleazy politician. Of real concern is that this mind set is running our government.......if he treats Ryan like this.........it is easy to see why there is no hope of working together to reach a productive solutions to our countries woes. I'm voting for Romney for sure. Joe.......you convinced me tonight.

    October 12, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  4. veggiedude

    How dare Biden reveal that Ryan had asked him for $300 million of stimulus money? That's just not fair!

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  5. Paul

    Ryan won....whatever to you all....

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  6. Tammy

    Bidden definitely won not only by his stronger law and political knowledge, but also by being reasonable and realistic. While Ryan sounded rather hypothetical and idealistic about many topics without any actual plan.

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  7. KyleShoe

    Biden was arrogant, disrespectful, and flat out crass. Ryan was level headed, and ready for whatever the Dems wanted to throw his way. UNFORTUNATELY Biden wouldnt give Ryan a chance to finish. Moderator did the same thing. The facts are not in Biden's favor. Just wait till you see what the fact checkers have to say =)

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  8. roro5

    Biden had nothing but talking out of turn, over top of Ryan, and making a fool of himself. He is a complete joke. Ryan was respectful and even thanked Biden at the end... Just like a liberal moron wouldn't even give Ryan the time to talk. It was like watching a toddler debate an adult. Ryan gave Biden the respect to talk, but Biden did not do the same. Leadership is about listening, compromising and bringing ideas together... the Obama/Biden ticket does none of this. They talk over opponent, never compromise, and have the 'take it or leave it' mentality. Look where they have 'lead' us so far...more spending in 4 years than in all 8 of Bush's, an economy that progressively is getting worse growth, jobless numbers increasing. They don't even allow the republicans involved in the meetings when drafting bills... this is not the America I believe in. They are an utter disgrace and need to go.

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  9. Scottsvb

    You can't trust CBS,NBC or the Liberals flocking to sites like those or in here posting comments... It was really a even debate.. Biden was kinda crazy and was outright rude in interupting Ryan. I'm a independent voter.. and you have to give me a REAL good reason to vote someone in 4 more years. Ryan did look like he was fed information.. but overall.. Biden, nice feeding points..but you should of done all you said the past 4 years, we want Results.. not excusses!

    October 12, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  10. Rue robin

    Biden gave facts Ryan has a framework. Biden won. Romney was rude at the presidential debate so Biden was aggressive but not any worse. Ryan has a snide sneer going to. Biden won this debate.

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  11. shelly

    hahaha CNN is so biased...... mitt romney did the same s%^% to obama .. by being "rude" lol and the conservaties loved it... and btw didnt CNN have another poll declaring Biden winning this debate! ummmmhhhhhhh .. anyway Biden wiped the floor with ryan.. and i am far from a partisan... straight independent right here. and Biden Won that debate easily.

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  12. Paul

    Biden won if you consider being a rude pompous ass then he won hands down. Yes he made points and lied about quite a few of them but he was better than the great pretender Obama. However being loud, obnoxious, condescension and rude means you win then again he won. You libs need something to cheer about with your pres lying about unemployment numbers, lying about Benghazi, lying about Obamacare and let's not forget Fast and Furious , Solyndra etc. he is thankful he has loyal followers who believe his lies and don't pay attention to facts. Yes to make you feel better Biden won. See how much it means when u lose in 26 days. Oh and the Dem voter fraud story that will be out tomorrow

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I guess they didn't call the Obama phone!

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  14. Me

    Biden's senility has finally set in. Good thing he gets to retire in 2 months.

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  15. Tony

    I think Biden just got the part of the crazy joker in the next batman movie, he really looked crazy and out of control. he wouldn't let Ryan talk, Ryan came across as more mature and grown up and ready to be VP.

    October 12, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  16. Gladys

    So they polled a larger number of Republicans and decided the Republican won? Am I missing something here? Biden won hands down. I've been skeptical of CNN for quite some time, but this just kind of proves it. I think another poster was right, their turning into the cheap knock off version of Faxed News!

    October 12, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  17. Lou Paliani

    I am very sadden to see Biden's behavior and tell myself that he is the Vice-President of the United States. He presented himself as the iconic sleazy politician. Of real concern is that this mind set is running our government.......if he treats Ryan like this.........it is easy to see why there is no hope of working together to reach productive solutions to our countries woes. I'm voting for Romney for sure. Joe.......you convinced me tonight.

    October 12, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. enigma

    Biden won. He put Ryan in time out.

    October 12, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  19. JF

    Come on Biden won by far whos doing these polls? totally incorrect in my view Biden gave him a roasting and showed that he looked like a little kid

    October 12, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  20. Kristen890

    I was willing to give both candidates a chance, but Biden turned me off with his disrespect. The moderator should have stepped in.

    On the details, I will probably have to side with Ryan on this debate, as well as my vote.

    October 12, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  21. Benjamin

    Biden is absolutely unprofessional. Who acts like that?

    October 12, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  22. David

    Biden clearly won the debate, Ryan stumbled badly on Afghanistan, military funding, Medicare, and also failed to explain how their "plan" won't add at least 5 trillion to the debt – it isn't a plan when you are simply trying to bribe voters with the promise of a mysterious tax cut when you either don't know what you'll cut or are not willing to tell the people.

    October 12, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  23. Steve

    These comments just prove that the vast majority of CNN's viewers are far left libs.
    Get a grip...it's over...Obama should just start packing his bags....he can head back home to Kenya right after the election...heck, he can leave now for all the good he's doing us. They keep calling Romney a liar. The only liar is Obama ....and his corrupt, communist leaning administration. We haven't had honest unemployment numbers since he got into office..Unemployment rate is closer to 20% than 7.8!.... I can't wait for Nov 6th to come so we can get back to the America of opportunity and pride.

    October 12, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  24. Dano29

    Ryan won, Biden was rude, loud and boorish.

    October 12, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  25. ddm

    watching the debate with an objective view I give Ryan the nod. On most topics it was a wash, except for Libya. I think Biden really stepped in it when he said " no requests were made for security by the embassy". Sworn testimony was given yesterday in a hearing on the hill that is to the contrary. Someone doesn't have the facts straight!!! Given joes penchant to wing it, my bet is Joe has done just what team Obama was afraid of. Oh and the smiling came across as creepy. Unfortunately for Biden, that will be all everyone talks about.

    October 12, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
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