59% V.P. Debate Viewers Believe Kamala Harris Beat Mike Pence
Of those surveyed, about 6 in 10 (59%) said Harris won, while 38% said the same of Pence.
However, the results largely varied along gender lines, with women saying Harris won by a 69% to 30% margin. Men were more evenly split between the two, with 48% saying Harris won and 46% saying Pence.
The numbers after the debate roughly matched the expectations viewers had going into the debate, as ahead of the debate, 61% said they expected Harris to win, and 36% said they believed Pence would perform better.
According to the CNN Instant Poll, the debate improved Harris’ favorability among those who watched. Prior to the debate, 56% said they viewed Harris in a positive light and that rose to 63% after the debate. Pence’s favorability of 41% remained the same afterward.
As Pence’s numbers remained stable, Harris improved among both women (up 7% from 63%), men (up 7% from 49%) and even Trump supporters (up 8% from 4% favorable pre-debate).
Despite the slight shift in favorability, the majority (55%) said the debate had no effect on how they intend to vote. Those who did choose a candidate tilted narrowly toward Biden.
The survey found that 56% of viewers said Pence spent more time attacking his opponent, compared to Harris’ 36%. It also showed Harris doing a better job on important debate components overall, with 64% saying she did a better job defending her running mate (to Pence’s 34%), was more in touch with the problems of everyday Americans (61% to 38%) and expressed her view more clearly (57% to 39%).
The poll, conducted via telephone by SSRS, surveyed 609 registered voters who indicated from Septmeber 30 to October 4 that they planned to watch the debate and confirmed on the 7th that they had watched. Its margin of error is +/-5.3%.