Obama the winner of second presidential debate: poll

Updated: 2012-10-20 05:18


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama was viewed by more Americans who watched the second presidential debate of this election cycle as the winner of his second face-off with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a latest Gallup poll released on Friday.

The poll found that more Americans believed Obama did a better job than Romney, by 51 percent to 38 percent. The rating showed a sharp reversal from the first presidential debate for which Romney was regarded as a landslide winner by 72 percent.

The second presidential debate took place in Hofstra University, New York state on October 16th night, in the form of a town hall meeting where a group of undecided voters from the local area were selected to take part in and pose their questions to the two candidates.

Romney's victory in the first debate was so decisive that even a plurality of Democrats regarded him as the winner. As for the second debate, Democrats overwhelmingly regarded Obama as the winner, by 88 percent to 4 percent. Republicans said their own party's nominee did better, by 78 percent to 9 percent. Independents gave the edge to Obama, 54 percent to 33 percent.

It is too early to tell what impact the second debate will have on voters, which may also be difficult to assess given that the third debate is taking place just six days after the second, said Jeffrey Jones of Gallup.

The Gallup poll, conducted October 17th to 18th, showed 76 percent of Americans watched the debate, higher than the 66 percent who told Gallup in an October 4-5 poll that they watched the first presidential debate on October 3rd.