2012 Presidential Debate III

2012 Presidential Debate III

In a YouGov poll of 968 Americans (results) completed in the hour after the third and final 2012 Presidential debates, Obama comes out as the clear victor with 49% of Americans viewing him as the winner. Democrats again give Obama the win almost universally (96%) with Independents and Republicans leaning toward Romney (42% and 71%). Similar to at least the last two debates, while most Americans lean toward their party's candidate, many more Republicans than Democrats are willing to see some level of failure in their candidate.

In the expectations game, Obama is once again a clear winner. Obama's loyalty is maintained among those who thought that he would be the winner of tonight's debate (among whom Obama was viewed as the winner by 96%). Among those who predicted a tie, Obama won over 41% compared to 25% that sided with Romney. Although few predicting a Romney win converted to an outright victory by Obama, 17% changed their view from a Romney win to a tie. For Obama, only 4% changed their mind from a predicted Obama win to a tie.

Who do you think won the presidential debate?
 Predicted Debate Winner
  Obama   Tie    Romney
Obama 96% 41% 4%
Tie 4% 34% 17%
Romney 0% 25% 78%

Although Obama's victory is quite similar to second debate, it is far from perfect. Whereas Obama's victory in the second debate was followed by kind words for the President, in this final debate, American's were much more likely to ascribe the terms "hostile", "defensive", "immature", and "negative". Outside of the (fairly inevitable) ascription of "old" to Romney, the words used for Romney are much more positive: "right", and "friendly".

While Romney has a minor lead in American's view that his promises are more realistic, the better news for Romney is that more Americans want to see his promises filled (49%), believe will be better able to prevent Islamic radicalization (43%) and hold China accountable (48%), and protect Israel (48%).

Click here to see full results!


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Authors

James Rydberg

James Rydberg received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 2010 in American Politics and Methodology. He is currrently a Product Manager at YouGov.