The Winner of the VP Debate Is a Toss-up, Too
Today in Poll Watch: It's unclear who won the vice-presidential debate, and Mitt Romney is leading President Obama in Florida and New Hampshire.
It's unclear who won the vice-presidential debate, and Mitt Romney is leading President Obama in Florida and New Hampshire. Here's a guide to today's polls and why they matter.
Findings: Instant polls following last night's debate conflict as to who was the winner. Ryan won by a slim margin—48 percent to 44 percent—among registered voters, CNN found. But among uncommitted voters, 50 percent gave it to Biden while 31 percent gave it to Ryan, CBS found. Update: Reuters/Ipsos gives Biden a 7-point victory among registered voters.
Pollster: CNN/ORC International, CBS News
Methodology: For CNN: Landline and cell phone interviews with 381 registered voters who watched the vice presidential debate October 11 with a margin of error of +/-5 percentage points. For CBS: Online poll using GfK's KnowledgePanel of 431 uncommitted voters with a margin of error of +/-5 percentage points.
Why it matters: This debate sure was lively, but it's unclear who won. These polls say the same thing. Update: With Reuters, Biden has been judged the winner in two of three polls, but by a far smaller margin than Romney was judged the victor in the presidential debate last week.
Caveat: As The New York Times' Nate Silver points out, these polls "are not directly comparable" and adds "vice-presidential debates rarely move head-to-head numbers between the presidential candidates – even when there is a much clearer verdict in instant-reaction polls. So one should err on the side of caution in assuming that the debate had much influence either way."
Findings: Romney is ahead by 4 percentage points in Florida, with 51 percent of likely voters' support, Rasmussen finds. American Research Groups poll has Romney up by 3 points in Florida.
Pollster: Rasmussen, ARG
Methodology: For Rasmussen: Automated poll of 750 likely voters in Florida October 11 with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. For ARG: Interviews with 600 likely voters October 8 through 11 with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
Why it matters: Though Florida is obviously still a close race, it's now leaning a two points in the red in the Real Clear Politics average. Yesterday, Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley moved Florida to Leans Republican.
Caveat: Sabato et al. caveat themselves by saying they made the move "even though the polling there still indicates it is a toss-up."
Findings: Romney is leading Obama by 4 percentage points in New Hampshire.
Methodology: Interviews with 600 likely voters October 9 through 11 with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
Why it matters: New Hampshire was looking to have been leaning Obama, but as recent reports indicate a tightening race in the state, this poll puts Romney in a small lead.
Caveat: Obama still has a six point lead in a poll in the WMUR Granite State Poll Tuesday, but that was down from a 15 point lead a week prior.