According to tonight’s snap CNN poll, 48% of registered voters thought that Barack Obama won tonight’s final presidential debate, compared with 40% who thought that Mitt Romney won. And according to CNN, Obama exceeded expectations, with 59% saying that Obama did better than they thought he would. 44% thought Romney did better than they thought he would. Obama came away with a 51-46% advantage on issues of leadership, but he also blew his likeability quotient. As CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said, “on the question of likeability, the two candidates are essentially tied on a trait that has generally been an advantage for Obama. That’s probably due to the fact that two-thirds of debate watchers felt that Obama spent more time than Mitt Romney on the attack.”
And more importantly, the poll showed that while half of those questioned said that the debate hadn’t changed their vote at all, 25% said they would be more likely to vote Romney, and just 24% said they thought the same about Obama.
Obama may have won the debate. But he also may have lost the election.