Debate Expectations Ahead Of Tonight's Debate

October 17, 2012, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 10/13/2012) Two weeks ago, Americans expected President Barack Obama to win the first presidential debate, but they had different expectations going into tonight’s debate. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, just about as many thought Republican challenger Mitt Romney would win as said the President would come out ahead.

After that first debate, the public viewed Romney as the clear winner: in last week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, 58% said the Republican nominee had won the Denver meeting, while just 13% thought the President had.

Most said they would watch at least some of the Hofstra confrontation this evening. 57% of registered voters said they would definitely watch. And half said the debates would affect the outcome of the election. That feeling was even stronger among Romney voters, whose candidate gained from the first outing. 62% of them expected the debates would shape the outcome.