On the eve of Tuesday night’s second presidential debate at Hofstra University, voters are divided as to which candidate they think will do the better job: 41% say Obama will do better, while 37% expect Romney to prevail. This stands in stark contrast to expectations prior to the first presidential debate two weeks ago, which voters expected Obama to win by a 51%-29% margin.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 12-14, 2012, among 1,006 adults, including 857 registered voters, finds debate expectations for Romney have improved sharply among independents: Two weeks ago more independents thought Obama would win the first debate by a 44% to 28% margin. Today, more independents expect Romney to win the second debate, by a 42% to 31% margin. Expectations for Romney are also up among Republicans (from 64% expecting him to do better than Obama in the first debate to 75% now).
Few Democrats (9%) think Romney will do the better job in tomorrow’s debate, but they are less uniformly certain about how Obama will do. Two weeks ago, fully 89% of Democratic voters said they expected Obama to do the better job. That has slipped to 75% of Democrats going into the second debate, as the percentage who do not choose either candidate has about doubled (from 7% to 16%).
Read the full report, Voters Divided Over Who Will Win Second Presidential Debate, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.