This update includes the USA Today-Gallup poll results.
Last night's town hall-style debate was yet another win for the Senator from Illinois, viewers across the country say.
According to a post-debate survey, 54% of viewers said Obama showed a better performance, compared to 30% who said that about McCain (CNN/Opinion Research Corp). This despite the fact that McCain has been stronger (in the primary season, he was) in such a setting. McCain had challenged Obama to a series of townhall-style forum across the country -- he's perhaps glad now Obama did not take him up on that.
When asked who they had a favorable opinion of viewers responded as follows: Obama 64-51 McCain (compared to Obama 60--51 McCain).
On who seemed to be a stronger leader: Obama 54-43 McCain.
On Likeability: Obama 65-28 McCain.
On who viewers thought was more intelligent: Obama 57-25 McCain.
On who clearly expressed his view: Obama 60-30 McCain.
Further, 63 percent said McCain went more on the attack, as opposed to just 17 percent saying Obama. Perhaps the McCain camps decision to go increasingly negative and attack Obama's person was not such a great idea at this stage of the game when they are trailing him in the polls. The extent to which it will backfire -- and whether they will continue down this path -- is yet to be seen.
Their attempts at painting Obama as an out-of-touch elitist has not worked so well. Afterall, more Americans think Obama is more understanding of their situation that John McCain. McCain undoubtedly cares about the American people but his conduct -- or misconduct -- has eclipsed that so much so that debate watchers said Obama seemed more in touch and seemed to care more about them by 14 percentage points.
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By a 16-point margin, debate watchers thought the Arizona senator seemed more like a typical politician during the debate."
"Fifty-four percent of those identifying themselves as independents said the Illinois senator performed best, with 28 percent saying that McCain did the better job."
How TIME graded the candidates:
Latest National Polls
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