October 11th, 2012
11:25 PM ET
10 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. wjmccartan

    To those republicans that keep yapping about how bad things are today, just think what the country would have been like under the repulicans, the country would not have been just swirling in the toilet bowl, as it was under GW, it would have backed up with crap all over the place.

    You think realistically that $Romney$ and Ryan are concerned with the well being of the working man, get a grip. Put down the koolaid, you've over indulged.

    These two want to put more American lives in the line of fire, the soldiers in America are not serving to fullfil the political ends of the elite.

    There is something wrong when your first answer to solve international issues is to put soldiers on the ground, in harms way.

    What are their answers to unemployment, is the stategy going to change from the presidents, if so what's the plan. What changes are they going to make to the education system, again what's the plan. Perhaps their thinking about changes to the finnacial markets, what's the plan. Changes to trade, what's the plan.

    America might not be sky rocketing out of the deepest depression the modern world, it is coming out it though, in a way that will create greater stability in the nation and in the global society. America needs to continue to be strong and stable for the century to come, not just for a few wealthy individual sicophants that would bleed the working man until they had taken everything out of the country.

    The people that have made their lives in elected office have to be shown the door, whether your the president or a senator or congressman, it should be 8 years and out.

    October 12, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  2. Namedavid williams

    Uncommitted are way smarter than republicans

    October 12, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |

    It was a great debate for the republicans, shows the maturity level of the left, I have liberal friends and even they are saying they were embarrassed for the old washed up fart.

    October 12, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. Allison

    They didn't poll me! Biden definitely won!

    October 12, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  5. Citizen Patriot

    Joe Biden made some good points but mostly just acted as if he were some sort of old & angry clown type character. Both spoke of more war. Neither spoke of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and indivisual liberties. Neither spoke against the indefinite detention of American citizens. Toss-Up!

    October 12, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  6. danny

    Did Uncle Joe bring one new idea to the debate. does he think we we want more excuses and finger pointing? What is the current platform for getting our current problems under control. More of the same will not do the job. Where was a budget that defines our "forward plans" absent.empty and sorely lacking

    October 12, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. rutrue

    I am not sure who did the poll and who was polled,. But on their website everyone in my family tried to vote and were not able to.

    October 12, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. marti

    I don't know who is being polled, but I watched and heard facts and information from someone who has first hand knowledge, Joe Biden. He won the debate hands down.

    October 12, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Carmel

    I think Joe Biden did great last night answered all the questions being asked

    October 12, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Tarcil

    I can't believe anybody thinks Biden won – he was the most arrogant, rude used car salesman I've ever seen. Apparently half the country is not turned off by a jerk with no manners?

    October 12, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |

    2 hours ago news

    .New Polls: Romney leads Obama on 10 swing states .

    Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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

    Biden won the debate hands down! Ryan looked like a boy who is being lectured on the importance of facts by an experienced adult. He was forced to admit that they only had a framework amd no Facts on how they will reduce taxes and he wants politicians to decide what happens in my womb! That is disturbing to say the least!

    October 12, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Brad

    Sam – no, the next President will inherit the DEEPEST and HIGHEST DEFICIT ever! More in the past 3 1/2 years than almost EVERY U.S. President combined. Dude, learn your facts please!

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

    Biden won that debate hands down!!!!!!!!

    October 12, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Jim

    I believe that President Obama should have his security and medical attention doubled should he be re-elected. After listening to VP Biden last night there is no way I would want him dealing with High Officials thoughout the world. The man is rude and is not a quality individual to represent the USA..

    October 12, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Name

    Hw come I never gets a cAll to vote

    October 12, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Gis

    Biden came across as a big bully and not very professional. Laughing and interupting on many ocassions. Mr. Rommey has got this democrat voter.

    October 12, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. CHawk

    The weak minded is the only hope the Dem team can MAYBE dream of deceiving into a vote. Biden seemed like he was off his meds. Almost maniacal. What was funny to him, was obiously lost to everyone else in the room and I know out here,as well.

    October 12, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. tdn

    Biden is a real joker

    October 12, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  20. jo

    We learned what a rude clown Biden really is. Biden was so incredibly rude and disgusting in the way he wouldn't let Ryan speak. It was just ridiculous! he kept taking over Ryan's talking time every chance he got.It was completely unfair! Biden is a slime!

    October 12, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. Locutis

    LOL...squirm liberals, squirm....we hear moving vans coming

    October 12, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. gmenfan54

    The only pole I trust is the one at the strip club.

    October 12, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. thfan

    Biden laughed
    Every time Ryn started lying and we laughed with him! Ryan's mother should've gone out there and washed little lying Ryan's mouth out with soap!

    October 12, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. SH

    Biden is the clear winner, had clear argument, showed better understanding, Ryan appeared naive!

    October 12, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. JoJo

    Hurray for Joe! I respect honest conservatism (e.g., Ron Paul), but not tax-evading, draft-dodging, chickenhawk, vulture-capitalist, religious hypocrite plutocrats like Romney & Ryan.

    October 12, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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