Post-Debate Poll Shows 60% Of Viewers Thought Biden Beat Trump

After the messy presidential debate on Tuesday night, CNN took a poll of debate watchers on their opinions of the candidates.

Out of this sample, 60% said that Democratic candidate Joe Biden won the debate, while only 28% said that President Donald Trump won. This contrasts with the group’s expectations of how the debate was going to go; 56% said they originally expected Biden to win, and 43% expected Trump. This parallels with the results of polls after the first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election; 62% thought Clinton won, while only 27% thought that Trump did.

The sample group was 39% Democrat, 36% Independent, and 25% Republican, and the poll was conducted by SSRS by phone interviews of 568 registered voters.

65% believed Biden’s answers to be more truthful (29% said Trump); 69% believed Biden attacked Trump fairly, and only 32% thought Trump was fair.


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On the topics presented in the debate, trust in Biden was generally more higher than trust in Trump. Sixty-six percent trusted Biden, while only 29% trusted Trump on racial inequality, and 32% with health care. Sixty-four percent trust Biden on his statements regarding COVID-19, 34% trust Trump, and 54% trust Biden’s statements on Supreme Court nominations, 43% trust Trump. The economy was where Biden struggled among viewers, though, with 50% trusting him and Trump barely trailing behind at 48%.

Fifty-five percent of viewers said that Biden seemed like the stronger leader, 43% said Trump. Viewers also did not generally change their opinions on who they would vote for based on the debate. 57% said their vote remained unchanged, with 32% saying they became more likely to vote Biden and 11% saying they were more likely to vote Trump.

Mia Graham

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