Poll: Obama winner of third debate
October 25th, 2012
05:21 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Obama winner of third debate

(CNN) – A new poll released Thursday shows debate watchers believe President Barack Obama won the third and final presidential debate over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The Gallup poll, taken entirely after the last debate focused on foreign policy and held in Boca Raton, Florida, indicated 56% of debate watchers thought Obama did a better job while 33% thought Romney won.

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A CNN/ORC International poll taken after the Florida debate showed Obama with a slight edge over Romney. Forty-eight percent of registered voters who watched the debate thought Obama won while 40% thought Romney did the better job. The president's eight-point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor came among a debate audience that was slightly more Republican than the country as a whole and is just within the survey's sampling error.

The Gallup poll also indicated debate watchers split evenly on which candidate did a better job overall in the three presidential debates. Forty-six percent said Romney did the better job and 44% said Obama - a two point margin that is well within the survey's sampling error.

A Gallup survey taken after the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York also showed those who watched the second presidential faceoff thought Obama won, 51% to Romney's 38%. Following the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado and a noticeably lackluster performance from the president, debate watchers believed Romney won by a wider margin, 72% to Obama's 20%.

Thursday's Gallup poll was conducted from October 23-24 among a 746 debate watchers aged 18 and older. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

–CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. hairdo noticer

    Wow! Does that mean Obama will win the election?

    October 25, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!

    October 25, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. California Gary

    Obama won the third debate in a big way.........and heck, he was just "horsing" around with Romney. Seriously, it appeared that Romney's entire foreign policy was based on "me too" to whatever Obama had to say. He started off by claiming that all the problems of the Middle-East are due to Obama's failed foreign policy, and then point by point agreed with everything Obama is doing. This is not a man that is ready to lead on the world stage.

    October 25, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. pcalif

    We all know he won the 2d and 3d debates and VP Biden won his. They made Romney and Ryan look foolish. The thing is, that the Republicans went on a very expensive poll suppression rampage and it was very difficult to find any polls after those debates. The media was an accomplice in this, succombing to the big dollars. The Democrats allowed this and now they need to exploit it because they do have time.

    October 25, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Montykoolaid

    Anyone who thought Romney won ANY debate after the first is delusional.

    October 25, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Mittless is Wittless

    CNN continues to stick with the "only scientific" poll claim after debates even though all the others have Obama winning with 53%? Not real reliable.

    October 25, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. fayse

    @hairdo, I certainly hope so. I voted on Monday

    October 25, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Charles Laughlin

    Surprise!!! Surprise!! CNN thinks Obama won the 3rd debate... the polls say so... give me a break.. who conducted the polls and who analyzed the results to make that conclusion... Isn't Candy Crowley one of their folks,,, Miss Big Foot in Her Mouth... or was it Barack's foot in her mouth..

    October 25, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    A Gallup survey taken after the second presidential debate in Hempstead, New York also showed those who watched the second presidential faceoff thought Obama won, 51% to Romney's 38%.
    Of the 51%, probably most of them either didn't understand the question or lied that they actually watched it. Clearly Mitt Romney overwhelmed the debate with strategies, ideas and logic compared to Obama's rhetoric and jokes. Could the question have been misinterpreted as "...who was more entertaining?" ?!?!

    October 25, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. rla

    Who cares! Obama lost the confidence of the country over the last four years and a debate win on debate/media points is a vapid accomplishment... Romney wins the war- get over it!

    October 25, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. NameNC_Right

    Who cares....Romney made the right decision and punted after the first debate. By the way, already voted Romney

    October 25, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. BlkPwr817

    Of course he did. Even Romney thinks so too. Heck he agreed with everything the President said...lol

    Obama 2012!

    October 25, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Of course the President won the third debate. He also won the second debate.
    I think the twit wanted to use the same strategy on the third debate that he used during the first debate but the President was prepared for all the flip flopping this time around.
    The twit looked uncomfortable, he was sweating and he knew he was in a situation way beyond his "foreign experience" which is to go to three countries and tick off everyone in those countries.

    October 25, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Reggiedw

    So what? Who cares about that now? Romney and Ryan are still going to win in November/12. That is all I care about........Obama can then go back home to Chicago.......we do not need his services anymore!!!!!!!

    October 25, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    We all know he won the 2d and 3d debates and VP Biden won his.
    Joe "attack hyena" Biden won too? I was embarrassed for him on his "animated" performance. He made Ronald McDonald look like Detective Sargent Joe Friday from Dragnet. Paul Ryan thought it was actually going to be a serious debate. He showed up talking about a plan forward and working for the American people.

    October 25, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. michael farrell

    Winning or losing seems to be a poor way of evaluating these debate events. It seems to me that if the viewer learned something or if issues were clarified then the debate was succesfull. Debates are for the people not a scorekeepng media.As a person I feel that a lot of important issues were overlooked and therefore the losers were the voting public and the winners were the advertisers and medias who collected big bucks.

    October 25, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Frank

    @fayse, I hope you are from Ohio! lol

    October 25, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. RD

    Fortunately, the presidency is not awarded to anyone as if it were a cheap bowling trophy because he demonstrates himself to be snarky and churlish. The presidency is won by persuading people of the worth of one's ideas, and where there is a track record, that one's record of deeds fairly predicts how he will behave in the ensuing four years.

    So, whether it was President Obama or Governor Romney who won the debate is quite immaterial. The only value to be derived from ascertaining who might have snookered the other in a debate is the media outlet that can draw the attention of those who have no life.

    October 25, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. November 6 is near

    @hairdo noticer Some people watch the debate, some don't. Some participate in the pre-election polls, some aren't called and they have their own answer. There's no true result of the election unless you just came from November 8 in a time machine.

    October 25, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney did OK based on his lack of knowledge on anything and his ability to run away from the truth about his job at Bain Capitol and the China connection.

    October 25, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. mike271828

    Obama crushed Romney in the second and third debates.

    Romney tried to shout down, bully and intimidate the President of the United States –and failed, utterly. A thoroughly contemptible performance.

    Thank God (I mean it) that Romney and Lyin' Ryan are losing. What a staggering disaster they would be, if elected. More, endless, disastrous wars abroad, George W. Bush style (from the same old Bush foreign policy team Romney is now reassembling. Plus, in the ultimate irony, Taliban-style laws on social issues in the United States, giving the government, not individual women, control over women's bodies.

    The new wars, plus even more huge tax cuts for the very rich, would blow up the deficit (steadily coming under control with Obama) to unheard of magnitude. Which would be the trigger for Romney and Ryan to do what they've wanted
    to do all
    along, but dare not admit:

    1. Doing away with the tax breaks (like the mortgage tax deduction) that ordinary Americans rely on while of course, obviously, leaving untouched the loopholes that save Romney personally millions in tax - notably the capital gains tax treatment of "carried interest". Result: billionaires pay less tax than ever, ordinary Americans pay more. That's why Romney and Ryan DARE NOT answer the obvious question: "you talk about abolishing tax loopholes. Which ones would you abolish?

    2. Trashing the social safety net: Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), Social Security, Veterans benefits and services, and the rest.

    October 25, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. JMHand

    Mitt Romney has had one good moment during his entire campaign for president, the first debate. Before that he was a disaster, and following the first debate Ryan lost his, then Romney lost the last two. You would have to live in a different reality to believe otherwise, Mitt's a weak candidate, and I'd be shocked if a majority of the American people didn't realize this.

    October 25, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    I voted for OBAMA and direct dem. party.

    October 25, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. NameTayo

    What do you expect?

    It's a case of a teacher tutoring his student.

    The teacher teaches and the student acknowledge what he learn.


    October 25, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Bren

    Obama looked small and petty. He won the third debate but he acted like he was arguing with a sibling. Obama is going to lose the election – the American people are looking for a President that is willing to work with others. Obama had four years and unlike Clinton he refused to work with other for the better of the country.

    October 25, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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