CBS Snap Debate Poll: Obama 39%, McCain 27%

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Barack, Debates, McCain, Polls

These numbers look a lot like CBS’ numbers on the first debate, where Obama won by 13%.

Here are the numbers from a poll of 500 uncommitted voters…

  • How did the debate impact vote preferences?
    15% say they are now committed to Obama
    14% to McCain
    70% are still uncommitted
  • Would make the right decisions about the economy?
    McCain: 41% before the debate, 49% after
    Obama: 54% before the debate, 68% after
  • Understands your needs?
    McCain: 35% before the debate, 46% after
    Obama: 60% before the debate, 80% after
  • Prepared for the job of president?
    McCain: 80% before the debate, 84% after
    Obama: 42% before the debate, 57% after
  • Did candidates answer the questions they were asked?
    57% yes, 42% no — for both candidates

Obama continues to dominate the “economic” and “understands my needs” categories.

He will win this election.

UPDATE:
Welcome readers of FiveThirtyEight. Here are some other posts about tonight’s debate:

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 and is filed under Barack, Debates, McCain, Polls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “CBS Snap Debate Poll: Obama 39%, McCain 27%”

  1. pico Says:

    CNN’s numbers are even worse for McCain:
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/snap_polls_give_debate_win_to.php

    “In CNN’s poll of debate-watchers, Obama won by a 54%-30% margin… Obama is seen as the stronger leader 54%-43%, and is more likable 65%-28%.”

    It wasn’t just me, McCain really did come off as contemptuous and obnoxious. Some politicians can attack their opponents while still appearing good humored and pleasant–Sarah Palin’s pretty good at this. But McCain just can’t do it.

  2. Gozinya Says:

    Who cares? All that matters is what that blathering twit Couric has to say. Maybe a commentary on what shoes the candidates wore. Or their choice of colorful ties.

  3. ryan Says:

    People are still uncommitted at this point? What the hell are they waiting for?

  4. young democrats @ VT » Blog Archive » Measuring the Second Presidential Debate Says:

    [...] if I sound like a broken record. But once again, Obama won the debate according to essentially every objective metric. And recall that, even if the debate were a tie, this would not have helped John [...]

  5. Vynce Says:

    Here’s my take — The undecideds are largely people who like one guy but have doubt about him; they know who they want to vote for and just aren’t comfortable with him yet. (Not all undecideds, mind you, but a lot.) These voters will be hard to predict on election day, so it’s better to grab them now.

    In Obama’s case, I think they are mostly people who have, actually, doubts about whether he is ready to lead. Note that the size of the group who decided he was ready (15% of the pool — the 57% after minus the 42% going in) is the same size as the number of people who decided to vote for him. I bet there’s a huge overlap in groups there; perhaps some CBS insider could look at that.

    Note that I suspect a stronger correlation here than on the economy issue — not because I don’t think the economy matters, but because a majority of the undecideds already thought he’d do the right thing there. The crux of my hunch is that you’d want to look for where undecideds differ from the average population, and look for correlations with a change in opinion on that topic with a change in opinion on the whole package, i.e., a decision to vote for him.

    So what’s McCain’s weakness? My guess is that this poll didn’t publish the right question for that. Maybe “stable enough”? maybe “honest enough”? It could be the obvious “understands the economy” or “understands your needs” but I suspect “Cares about people like you” is more like it. A decade ago the buzzword was “Compassionate conservative” — I have a gut feeling that the veteran and Senator has a ways to go to convince people he’d be well described as such.

    So, in a nutshell, my hunch — most undecided think at least one of: Obama cares but may not have the maturity; McCain has the skills but may not share their goals or interests. When they become convinced that one candidate has both qualities, they’re sold.

    Of course, some undecideds have their own issues — Such as a pastor telling them that Obama isn’t a good Protestant, but their heart telling them he’s a decent, compassionate guy; or mistrusting gamblers but wanting to trust McCain because he loves his country.

    Cross-tabs to see what the subset people who decided how to vote also decided about why would be solid political & statistical gold.

  6. Matthew H Says:

    Thanks…great to be here!

    I’m expecting to see a huge snowball effect…most undecideds would vote for Obama if they were certain that he was ready, and when Obama’s winning the polls they’ll think “Well, most people think he’s ready, so he must be ready”. The spin from the debates won’t hurt, of course.

    I think the race is over.

  7. Moue Magazine »Post Debate Polling Says:

    [...] Donklephant) How did the debate impact vote preferences? 15% say they are now committed to Obama 14% to McCain [...]

  8. Tim Dunn Says:

    The GOP once was a dignified party which represented the business elite of our country. In the days of Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, it contributed to our nation’s greatness. Now it is a mean-spirited party which represents the uneducated, the anti-scientific, the jingoistic, and the kleptocrats of the Bush administration who have shamelessly looted the treasury and left the country deeply in the red.

    The so-called tax and spend Democrats have by default become the party of fiscal responsibility, which would surely astonish Rockefeller and Goldwater could they see it. The Republicans have bungled in every possible way under Bush-from ignoring the warnings prior to 9-11, through the bungled occupation of Iraq and the hopelessly incompetent management of Katrina on to the debacle of undermining the very foundations of our banking system. They deserve to be swept from power.

  9. Donklephant » Blog Archive » CBS Post Debate Snap Poll: Obama 53%, McCain 22% Says:

    [...] Second Debate: Obama 39%, McCain 27% [...]

  10. Jes Me Says:

    When oh when will lower and middle-class America wake up and realize that this whole trickle-down rationalization used by rich Republicans to back-scratch their even richer supporters is just pure HOGWASH???

    I for one am getting damned tired of being “trickled” on by these rich jerks who are getting nothing but richer and lounging in ever more tax breaks, while the rest of the country is in foreclosure and going down the tubes.

    The right wing always knee-jerks the old “it’s the Democratic congress’ fault” response… but this is flatly, and provably wrong. Without a veto-proof majority in both houses, it is nearly impossible to defeat entrenched, partisan policy– no matter how obviously corrupt.

    And regardless of their “tax-and-spend lib’rels” rant routines, even when Republicans have been in total charge of both elected branches of government they have never reduced federal spending. Never. This includes the now mythological Reagan years, the first six of which featured Republican control of both congressional houses. That was when the national debt really started to skyrocket– into the hundreds of billions. And both Republican administrations since have done nothing but top that record. Oh, they talk about cutting spending a lot, but they never, ever deliver.

    Calling themselves “fiscal conservatives” is a pathetic joke. Here’s a question for you– who was the last full-term Republican president that actually managed to even almost balance the budget, and who DIDN’T break all previous records for the sky-high national debt?

    I’ll give you some hints:
    They never mention him in their campaign adds….
    He gave a famous speech which is now named after a dog….
    He once said, on national television, that he was “not a crook”….
    His last name rhymes with “Dickson”……………….

    Anyone getting warm?

    And the fact that a man with a known history of adultery, and frolicking on yachts with money from criminals like Charles Keating, would have the temerity to harass Obama for “past associations” (let alone judgment) only proves how hypocritical and desperate McCain and the Republicans have gotten. Barry Goldwater must be spinning in the grave….

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