PUBLIC OPINION > Moderates More Impressed by Obama in Last Round of Debates

Politics 2012/10/23 20:00:00
The last of the three presidential debates for 2012 took place Monday evening, so if you're banking on the debates to make your mind up, you have all the material you're going to get. This week's debate focused on foreign policy -- Afghanistan, Libya, China, Israel, Syria, and of course the role and scale of the military. We asked the public who put their best foot forward this time around.

Romney ultimately took the poll again (by two percent), but this time it was neck-and-neck the whole way through. That's probably because the candidates had similar stances on most of the issues. The two topics that created the most tension were the Obama administration's handling of foreign affairs in the past, and the amount of money that should be spent on the military. The rest of the debate was nuanced at best.

Obama Engages Older Voters

That's not to say Obama engaged the oldest voters -- Romney still had a firm grasp on the over-45 crowd -- but the biggest demographic difference between this debate and the last two is that voters in their 30s and early 40s swayed more in Obama's favor. In fact, the shift between the under-45s and the over-45s was pretty much the only shift in the age breakdown.

Mitt Takes New York

Looking at how people voted by state, Obama has strong support in California (57%) but lacks the same in New York, where nearly two-thirds (64%) went for Romney. Romney also had a grip on Texas and Florida. Obama fared well in Michigan, Maryland and Indiana; but he's going to need more than that to swing the electoral college.

Moderates Stick With Obama

Party supporters stuck to their guns, but again, moderates showed much more support for Obama. We also dug into votes who claimed "other" as their political alignment, as there were quite a few of them and they could be anything. Turns out, they're not as supportive of Obama as the moderates, but most of them did agree he won this debate.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about the final presidential debate. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • CAPISCE 2012/10/23 21:16:37
    Romney set an "unlikable" trap or Obama and Obama took it hook, line and sinker. Romney is one smart cookie

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  • rbeas 2012/11/12 19:03:20
    and we are surprised why?
  • Marcus Antoni 2012/10/31 07:01:38
    Marcus Antoni
    Yes We Can, Again!
    Mitt Romney has no substance; he is ineffectual and is less a leader and more a messenger boy. I think It is obvious the way he struggles to hang on to the ideas that are not his own. We need a new insightful direction like the President has begun, where we find real solutions to the real modern problems of today.
    Barrack is a Nobel peace prize winning, Harvard law school grad, who can see beyond the disparaging capitalistic mindset that landed us in the substandard blur of what America is of late. Every great historical figure in the American story had that quality that Barrack brings, of being triumphant over the woes of the times. I for one would like to see where that goes.
    I’m sure it’s not an easy road, maybe won’t make the 1 % richer-err, but we can’t be afraid to believe in ourselves again, and we sure as hell don’t have time to waste waiting for the republican leadership to catch up to modern ideas like global sustainability and systemic analysis.
    Where do we go from here? Let us go forward.
  • Steve Boston 2012/10/28 19:27:48
    Steve Boston
    Moderates what? This is obviously another one of those questions that was targeted for the Fun& Humor tab but got misplaced. I hope SH is working on the fix.
  • Margaret 2012/10/28 14:33:42
    Have to love how Obama took credit for the surge he voted against - The surge happened under Bush. Obama also lied about much of the taxes - he has hidden 20 new taxes on the middle class in the health care bill plus he has signed into the United Nations taxes on many industries which will cause a hardship and most likely increased costs to consumers for international flights among others.
    He also plans on signing treaties with the U.N. which again will raise costs and give them more control over America.
    He has already given them control of our navy in open seas.
    The idea that a president of the United States would give away our control of our military to a group of thugs like the U.N. is unthinkable and should be treasonous.

    If re elected much more control will go to the U.N. through Obama and his "foreign" administration. His dream like that of his father and Soros is the demise of America. More voters need to really educate themselves instead of listening to his lies.
  • Connor ... Margaret 2012/11/01 03:08:37
    Connor June
    I hope you realize nothing the UN does is legally binding...
  • User De... Connor ... 2012/11/04 14:08:13
    User Deactivated
    If a UN law is ratified by Congress, it is legally binding. But Obama seems to think he can bypass even that safeguard. See "Libya". Obama cited "international permission", not Congress, for authority to bomb a sovereign nation.
  • Connor ... User De... 2012/11/05 16:42:55
    Connor June
    I will agree with that, but first, you assume congress will pass UN treaties/resolutions, and you think that any force would follow through with enforcing these laws
  • User De... Connor ... 2012/11/05 22:28:10
    User Deactivated
    Not so sure. Hillary Clinton has been busy behind the scenes trying to get UN Small Arms Treaty hammered out. There are already UN treaties ratified by Congress on the books.
  • Connor ... User De... 2012/11/06 02:37:20
    Connor June
    So a republican congress would pass a UN small arms treaty...
  • User De... Connor ... 2012/11/06 12:01:02
    User Deactivated
    Congress passed the NDAA allowing indefinite detention of US citizens without being charged. That's a workaround of the 5th amendment. I could see a workaround of the 2nd .
  • Lefty 2012/10/28 13:08:47
    That's a silly question. Obama/Biden won 3 out of 4
  • lcky9 2012/10/28 04:26:55
    the ONLY thing OBAMA could win is a con man debate..
  • BlackJack 2012/10/28 00:19:59
  • TEPP 2012/10/27 23:58:10
    It wasn't about who's right, it's a popularity contest.
  • lauren dull 2012/10/27 23:54:02
    lauren dull
    My question is Is Anyone Impressed With obama ?
  • Erok 2012/10/27 09:10:06
    Romney was the clear winner of all three debates.....all Obama is and proved to the world that he is the guy who fit the "Johnny Bravo" suit.....the empty suit!
  • Cleaver62 2012/10/27 08:26:23
    I don't know who compiled this vote but from everything I read and heard and after watching the debate myself, Barack Obama was the clear winner. Romney changed his positions on the issues again and didn't know basic geography. Romney was clueless when it came to foreign policy just as he is clueless about most things.
  • mrdog 2012/10/27 07:14:32
    Always been a moderate independent......I disagree with this polling... Thought Mitt was almost perfect in all three debates.... now that I know for a fact...O and W.H. failed to protect Americans in Libya.... after three requests for help.... no way I could ever vote for O and Little Joey.....(CIA confirmed W.H. failed).

    as a vet....I;m pissed..... bark
  • marcuss....PHART 2012/10/27 02:51:02
    On Mars?
  • Big J 2012/10/27 00:32:06
    Big J
    the moderators work for the media which loves Obama.the amount of times romney was interrupted by them compared to Obama is like 5 to 1.
  • Diddley Squat 2012/10/26 18:55:19
    Diddley Squat
    I think everyone was more impressed with Obama. Romney knew he was making a mess of it. That's why he was sweating toward the end.
  • jerry 2012/10/26 15:55:15
    Mitt has erased Obama's 16 point advantage with women...

    Gender Gap?....What Gender Gap?

    Go Mitt! 16
  • captainquiggle 2012/10/26 14:53:03
    LOL. Let's see Romney take NY. What a joke this poll is.

    When Romney said, "Some gays are actually having children born to them. It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father,'' I knew how much I didn't want him as the president. Never mind his stance on abortion, health care, the poor or birth control.

    We need to take this country forward, not back. The GDP is up by 2 percent, beating out expectations and unemployment is at 7.8 percent with 5 million new jobs created, yet Romney wants us to think the country is in a downward spiral.

    We must also remember that there was another businessman that recently got into office claiming that he was there to "balance the budget" and that he "didn't care for nation building" but that man was GWB. Does the GOP think we'd all forget?

    Come on.
  • User De... captain... 2012/11/04 14:13:35
    User Deactivated
    Obama has turned out to be the biggest "nationbuilder" in history. Perhaps you don't know about the clandestine US operations in 7 Middle Eastern countries.
  • captain... User De... 2012/11/05 14:44:46
    Hence the word "clandestine," so why don't you enlighten me as to what nations he's built?
  • SuckerPunch 2012/10/26 12:41:59
    When we look at the polls, we have a tendency to only look at (R) versus (D). We forget to look at the (I)ndependent voters - those who are virtually undecided. Republicans will vote Republican, and Democrat for Democrat. What will decide the election are the roughly 20% of (I)ndependent voters. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the recent poll numbers using the "overall", and then let's look at the percentages for (I)ndependents in the key states:

    (all taken from Real Clear Politics website)

    609 LV - SurveyUSA (OH) 10/20-10/22 | Overall: OBAMA: 47 - ROMNEY 44 | *among* (I)ndependents: Obama 39% - Romney 47% = Romney +11

    783 LV - Time (OH) 10/22-10/23 | Overall: Obama 49 - Romney 44 | *among* (I)ndependents: Obama 38% - Romney 53% = Romney + 15

    1182 LV - Gravis (FL) 10/24 | Overall: Obama 48.8 - Romney 49.7 | *among* (I)ndependents: Obama 42% - Romney 52% = Romney +10

    636 LV - PPP (NV) 10/22-10/24 | Overall: Obama 51 - Romney 47 | *among* (I)ndependents: Obama 44% - Romney 53% = Romney + 9

    Now you can see how the Independents are going to make Romney the next POTUS.
  • Q SuckerP... 2012/10/26 23:46:49 (edited)
    Not necessarily, its the swing states that's going to decide who wins more than likely and the president still maintains a slight lead in most of them. Mitt's momentum from the first debate came to a grinding halt resulting in the two being essentially tied nationally while Mitt is still struggling in most of the battle ground/swing states. Its going to be close election, no doubt.
  • Angus Q 2012/10/27 11:49:44
    Funny how the majority of your so called polls are Democrats. Too bad they're incorrect.

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 50% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 47%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and two percent (2%) are undecided. This is the fourth consecutive day that Romney has been at the 50% level of support.
  • Q Angus 2012/10/27 13:27:43 (edited)
    Like I said...on the national level they're essentially tied while in the swing states most of the polls show the president with a slight lead which has remained unchanged unlike the national polls, these are just the latest polls showing as much. And based on this reply you probably think that all the polls are biased except Rasmussen which has been shown to have a republican bias and uses substandard/questionable polling techniques.
    Romney's surge from the first debate has grinded to a halt leaving them tied nationally and he failed to make a serious dent in the president's lead in the swing states.
    dale with it gif
  • SuckerP... Q 2012/10/27 16:55:46
    Ohio: Romney leads Obama 7 % among independent voters. WaPo/ABC Poll: Independent Voters Moving to Romney.

    Independents are what's going to decide the race, not the (R) and the (D) voters.

    And the RCP average in the swing state polls damn near all have Obama's leads within the margin or error.

    It's over.
  • Q SuckerP... 2012/10/27 20:29:03
    So because the lead the president has maintained in the swing states is within the margin of error you've already declared Romney the winner. How adorable..... Good one!
    obama laughing gif
  • Angus Q 2012/10/28 19:15:34
    50 : 47 is not a tie. PERIOD

    However, once the lame stream media stops covering for Obama's non action in Libya the reign of Dicator and Fraud Obama will be over even before the election.
  • Q Angus 2012/10/28 20:27:21
    50 to 47 is according Rasmussen's polling which has been shown to have a republican bias, according to the latest national average polls at realclear politics its Romney 47.7 to Obama's 46.8 giving Romney less than a 1% lead which means that they're essentially tied.

    You keep saying that the Libya Benghazi attack and the administration's handling of it will cause the president to lose which is merely a right wing fantasy. Only the right wing media is trying to make it into more than it really is. The moderates and Independents along with the dems know that's its just a partisan witch hunt in an attempt to make the president look bad before the election. That dog just won't hunt. PEROID!
  • Angus Q 2012/10/29 11:49:03
    I hope that deep inside of you remains a little common sense that tells you that are statements are nothing more than left wing BS and that you're wrong covering for the Fraud in Charge.

    National '12 President General Election Gallup

    Mitt Romney 50%
    Barack Obama 47%

    National '12 President General Election Rasmussen

    Mitt Romney 50%
    Barack Obama 47%

    National '12 President General Election Washington Post

    Mitt Romney 50%
    Barack Obama 47%
  • Bonboyl Q 2012/10/29 02:42:18
    I guess the way Obama handled the Bengahzi incident actually helped him in the polls? How on earth can anyone support this guy?
  • Q Bonboyl 2012/10/29 15:16:54
    As you can tell by the poll numbers only the far right is buying into this the president mishandled the Benghazi incident because the numbers haven't budged. Everyone but the conservatives know this is being spun/manipulated by the conservative media into much much more than it really was.
  • User De... Q 2012/11/04 15:17:21
    User Deactivated
    You think maybe because the left wing media is ignoring the Benghazi incident is why the numbers haven't changed? The lefties watch the left wing media, and the righties watch the right wing media.

    I think if the left wing media covered what really happened, and exposed Obama's attempted coverup a,d called him on the blatant lies he told concerning it, the numbers would change.
  • Q User De... 2012/11/04 16:51:29
    Thinking doesn't appear to be your strong suit if you actually believe all the right wing noise concerning this highly politicized spin by the extreme far right.
  • User De... Q 2012/11/04 17:23:41
    User Deactivated
    I'm sorry, were you making a point, or simply using an opportunity to belittle someone? Would you care to refute the "right wing noise" and prove it to be false information, or would you like to just continue to call people stupid while ignoring their views?
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