Polls taken following Wednesday night’s debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama show Americans believed the challenger won the debate. More important, Romney may have swung a sizable number of undecided voters his direction.
A CNN/ORC poll of registered voters who watched the debate in Denver indicated 67 percent believe Romney won the debate, while just 25 percent said Obama won. The survey found 35 percent of voters said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney, while just 18 percent said Obama.
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Debate watchers favor Romney by a 55-43% over Obama in dealing with the economy, a 53-44% edge on the issue of taxes, 57-41% edge on budget deficit, and was perceived to be a stronger leader by a 58-37% margin.
“For any candidate to get above 50-something, it is just huge,” said John King, CNN’s national correspondent. “You have a lot of president’s supporters saying he got spanked tonight.”
A CBS poll of undecided voters showed Romney leading Obama 46 percent to 22 percent on the question of who won, with 32 percent saying they tied. Even more significant, the CBS News poll shows 56% say their opinion of Romney has changed for the better while 13% say that about Obama.
The CNN poll showed 58 percent of voters felt Romney had shown himself as a stronger leader, with 37 percent saying the same thing about Obama. Obama usually lead son the issue of likability, but the two were tied. Romney led by 12 as to who would better handle the economy, after trailing Obama in a similar pre-debate poll.
Some 430 adults were polled via telephone by CNN and the margin of error in this poll sample is 4.5%.
During the debate, Romney made salient points while President Barack Obama appeared bored and uninterested.
From the pro-life perspective, Romney scored points with pro-life voters for making a clear case for repealing Obamacare, the health care law that pro-life advocates have attacked for funding abortions with taxpayer dollars.
“You want it repealed. You want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Why?” moderator Jim Lehrer asked.
Romney also went after the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the health care rationing board that pro-life advocates repeatedly called for repealing because it would limit life-saving medical treatments.
“We didn’t put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they’re going to receive. We didn’t also do something that I think a number of people across this country recognize, which is put — put people in a position where they’re going to lose the insurance they had and they wanted,” he said.
Romney also touched on two pro-life themes — respecting human life and religious liberty.