Post-debate polls for who won the debate even over at Fox News last night suggested an Obama win, though, some time overnight, the debate polls on Fox‘s site shifted to favor Romney. And it seems that while Mitt was strategically less aggressive towards Obama in the third debate, conservative media is less likely to excoriate their candidate than left-leaning media were after the first debate. (When Chris Matthews famously shouted, spittle-soaked at the camera, “where was Barack Obama tonight?!”)
Greg Mitchell over at The Nation observed the phenomenon as the debate polls rolled in and everyone discussed who won the debate, noting:
“CNN’s national poll of voters who watched gave it to Obama 48 percent to 40 percent—and once again CNN quietly admitted the sample skewed GOP. In previous polls, the skew was about 8 percent GOP (see final paragraph below). Obama won the previous debate by about the same margin. Without GOP skew, the edge would have been much bigger. CNN, of course, did not highlight that little detail.”
“First instant poll, and most valid, from CBS, with 521 undecided voters, scientific sample: big win for Obama, 53 percent–23 percent, with 24 percent claiming tie. Margin of error: 4 percent. CBS poll after first debate: Romney wins by 24 points. CBS poll after third debate: Obama wins by 30 points. But you won’t see many stories about passive Romney failing to prep or wake up.”
Indeed, both CBS and CNN have debate polls indicating Obama is the winner following the third debate, and public opinion seems to support the consensus. Following the showdown, the debate polls and discussion of who won the debate on foreign policy, Veep Joe Biden had some complimentary words for Romney, albeit in a critique sandwich:
“He’s a decent man, but he demonstrated an overwhelming lack of understanding in the international community, he demonstrated a lack of understanding in the military.”
As always, who won the debate will always really come down to the individual lens of the viewer’s political compass. Romney supporters are likely to clock a Romney win due to his confidence and failure to strike when given the opportunity, whereas Obama supporters are probably going to recall a no-holds barred recitation of a renewed American commitment to diplomacy.
Do you agree with CNN and CBS’ post-debate polls that Obama was a clear winner of the third showdown? Who do you think won the final debate?