CNN post-debate poll: Biden wins final presidential debate


Viewers once again said Trump’s criticism of Biden was largely fair (73% said it was fair, 26% unfair), and they were split on whether the Trump’s attacks on Biden were fair (50% said yes, 49% no).

It’s a more positive outcome for Trump. In a CNN Snapshot poll after the first presidential debate, just 28% said they thought the president won the debate, and 67% called his criticism of Biden unfair.

All told, however, the debate did little to shift impressions of either candidate. Favorable opinions of Biden before the debate stood at 55%, and they held steady at 56% in post-debate interviews. Similarly, Trump’s numbers held steady, with 42% saying they had a favorable view of the president in interviews conducted before Thursday’s debate and 41% saying the same afterwards.

However, more debate watchers said Trump’s performance raised concerns about how he would handle the presidency (55%) than Biden’s (41%).

Thursday’s debate watchers favored Trump over Biden on the economy (56% say they think Trump would handle it better vs. 44% who say Biden would), and split about evenly between the two on the economy. foreign policy (50% prefer Biden, 48% Trump). Biden held a large advantage as he was more reliable in handling the coronavirus (57% Biden vs. 41% Trump), climate change (67% Biden vs. 29% Trump) and racial inequality in the United States (62% Biden vs. 35 %Trump).

Biden was also widely seen as offering a better plan to solve the country’s problems (54% Biden vs. 42% Trump), and voters were split over who appeared to be the stronger leader (49% each).

Although Thursday’s event was far less controversial than the first presidential debate, Biden was much more likely to be seen as answering the moderator’s questions directly (62% said he did, 31% said he did). said Trump).

Women were more likely than men to say Biden did the best job in the debate (60% of women said Biden won, 35% Trump, while among men, 47% said Biden won , 44% said Trump did). Independents also widely felt Biden won (55% Biden vs. 36% Trump), as did moderates (56% Biden vs. 37% Trump) and white college-educated voters (64% Biden vs. 29% Trump). Among those 65 and older — a group supporting Biden in greater numbers than Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to most polls — the verdict was a split decision, with 46% saying Biden won, 43% Trump and 10% saying they both got away with it. Younger voters widely saw Biden as the winner, 66%, compared to 27% for Trump among those under 45.

Biden’s margin over Trump in this post-debate poll is only one point wider than Clinton’s victory over Trump in a poll of final debate viewers in 2016. Biden’s margin is the second largest in recent CNN polls after the last presidential debates, behind that of Barack Obama. 58% to 31% margin over John McCain after the 2008 final debate.

CNN’s post-debate poll was conducted by SSRS over the phone and includes interviews with 585 registered voters who watched the Oct. 22 presidential debate. The results among debate watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points. Respondents were initially interviewed earlier this month, either by phone or online, and said they planned to watch the debate and would be ready to be interviewed again when it was over. Respondents originally contacted online are members of the SSRS Opinion Panel, a nationally representative probabilistic panel.


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