The results may be favoring Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tuned in to the debate. Of the debate-watchers questioned in this poll, 41 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.But, it produced the headline they wanted.
Similarly, our own Commercial Appeal headlined an "Obama won" poll, explaining it as follows:
The poll was conducted for The Commercial Appeal by the Atlanta-based polling firm Inside Advantage/Poll Position and was taken after the debate. Obama was declared the winner by 42 percent of those polled. McCain got the call on 41 percent. The debate was too close to call by 17 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5 percent.Interestingly, they tossed up an internet poll on their own website and as of 11:00am CDT here's what it showed:
No headline there.
CBS assembled a bunch of uncommitted voters for their poll, who gave the edge to Obama apparently because he held his own without a teleprompter (anyone who'd seen his primary debates should have known).
But perhaps the most interesting result regarding Obama was on Iraq. Recall he won the nomination against Hillary largely due to his superior position on opposing the Iraq war from the beginning, a charge which Hillary could never effectively counter, losing her the anti-war vote. However, with a national debate and a more mainstream audience that previous opposition didn't seem to carry as much weight:
But when it came to the war in Iraq, McCain was the stronger candidate. Before the debate, 44 percent said that McCain would make the right decisions about the war; that rose to 56 percent after the debate. Fewer thought Obama would make the right decisions on Iraq.That seems to indicate that the American public cares more about the future than the past--winning the war is more important than Obama's judgment when he was a state Senator with no vote.
But perhaps the best evidence that Obama didn't win the debates came from his home network, who proclaimed a tie.