Who Won the Debate?

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WHO WON THE DEBATE?….A non-snap poll done on Saturday suggests that Barack Obama really did win Friday’s debate:

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows 46% of people who watched Friday night’s presidential debate say Democrat Barack Obama did a better job than Republican John McCain; 34% said McCain did better.

….The poll suggested the debate was to some extent a wash for McCain: 21% of those who watched say it gave them a more favorable view of him, 21% say less favorable and 56% say it didn’t change their opinion much.

Three in 10 said their opinion of Obama became more favorable after seeing the debate, compared to 14% who said less favorable and 54% who said it didn’t make much difference.

Polls done on weekends are tricky, and “winning” debates doesn’t always translate into a tangible advantage. Still, it’s notable that a significant number of people who were apparently unsure about Obama before the debate now see him in a favorable light. That’s a big deal, since being taken seriously is the biggest hurdle for a younger, less-experienced candidate to get over.

And while we’re at it, here’s the RealClear Politics poll average, which doesn’t yet account for any possible bump Obama might have gotten from the debate. As of this morning, they have him 4.8 points ahead.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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