The latest CBS News and CNN post debate polls revealed that voters feel Barack Obama won the town hall debate with John McCain. In the CBS poll, 39% thought that Obama won the debate, and 35% thought that the debate was a draw. Only 27% thought that McCain won. The CNN poll gave Obama an even bigger victory by a margin of 54%-30%.
Obama gained with voters on the question of which candidate would make the right decisions on the economy. Before the debate 54% thought Obama would make the decisions, and that number increased to 68% after the debate. On the other side of the coin, John McCain lost ground on this question. Before the debate, 49% thought that McCain would make the right decisions on the economy, but after the debate, his numbers dropped to 41%. The CNN post debate poll gave Obama the win on the economy by a margin of 59%-37%.
The CNN Poll also found that respondents said that Obama was the stronger leader by a margin of 54%-43%. Obama was also found to be better able to handle the financial crisis, 57%-36%. The CBS poll found that uncommitted voters thought that Obama better understood their concerns. Before the debate Obama led McCain on this question, 60%-35%. After the debate Obama’s margin increased to 80%-46%. The good news for McCain is that he still dominates Obama, 84%-57%.
I think that these numbers are partially a reflection of the pre-debate trend towards Obama. In the CNN poll Obama was found to be more likable than McCain by a margin of 65%-28%. This number is representative of another of McCain’s problems, he isn’t very likable. If this election was being contested in the immediate post-9/11 political environment, McCain would probably be winning. However, America is looking for a leader to deal with the problems at home, and this is where Obama shines.
John McCain is in really big trouble. According to these poll numbers, he did not do anything to stop the slide of his presidential campaign. If anything, he reaffirmed many of the questions and criticisms that have been growing for a few weeks now. The polls indicate that that Obama is getting stronger as a candidate, and people are moving towards his message. McCain now has one presidential debate, and a few weeks of campaigning to turn it around. If the trend stays at it currently is, McCain might not only lose, but Obama might blow him out.