The Slatest

Who Won the Foreign Policy Debate? The [Instant] Surveys Say …

And the results from the first instant polls are in: President Obama gave the stronger performance on stage in Florida in the eyes of voters, according to surveys conducted by a pair of news networks in the immediate aftermath of Monday’s foreign policy debate.

A CBS News poll of self-identified voters suggests a clear cut win for Obama, with 53 percent of respondents giving the victory to the president compared to 23 percent who saw Romney as the night’s winner. The remaining 24 percent, meanwhile, saw the night as a draw. On the topic of who would do a better job in national security, Obama again came out on top, 64 percent to 36 percent.


CNN’s survey of registered voters who watched the debate (a demographic that traditionally leans Republican, fwiw) paints a slightly different picture, but one that nonetheless shows Obama on top. Forty-eight percent said they thought the president gave the strong performance compared to 40 percent who thought Romney did.

The president also won the expectations game, according to CNN’s data, with 59 percent of respondents saying the president did better than expected compared to 15 percent who said he failed to live up to expectations. Romney, meanwhile, also managed to over-deliver according to the poll, but not by as large a margin as the president. Forty-four percent of registered voters said the GOP challenger did better than expected compared to 26 percent who said he did worse.

Read more of Slate’s election coverage.