Voters Divided Over Who Will Win Second Presidential Debate

Oct 15, 2012

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.

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