Public Policy Polling’s post debate poll in the swing states, conducted on behalf of Americans United for Change, finds that Barack Obama was the big winner in tonight’s face off. 53% of those surveyed in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin think Obama was the winner to 42% who pick Romney.
Obama’s winning margin among critical independent voters was even larger than his overall win, with 55% of them picking him as the winner to 40% for Romney. The sense that Obama was the winner is pretty universal across different demographics groups- women (57/39), men (48/45), Hispanics (69/29), African Americans (87/13), whites (49/45), young voters (55/40), and seniors (53/43) all think Obama came out ahead tonight.
Maybe even more important than the sentiment on who won the debate is who folks in these swing states are planning to vote for now: 51% of them say they’re going to support Obama to 45% who stand with Romney. That includes a 46/36 advantage for Obama with independents, and Obama also seems to have made a lot of progress with groups he was previously down by wide margins with. Among men (50/47) and whites (50/46) he is trailing only slightly and with seniors he’s actually ahead 52/47.
Tonight’s debate was more a win for Obama than a loss for Romney. Romney, despite losing, came out with 38% of voters now saying they’re more likely to vote for him to 35% who say they’re less likely to for a +3 positive spread. Obama just came out even better with 37% of voters saying they’re more likely to vote for him to 31% who are less likely to for a +6 spread.
Interestingly Obama only came out of the debate as the candidate trusted more on foreign policy by a 51/47 margin, much closer than his overall victory in the face off. That suggests the points Obama scored on ‘off topic’ issues might have been more important than anything he said about foreign policy.