Viewers once again said that Biden’s criticism of Trump was largely fair (73% said it was fair, 26% unfair) and disagreed over whether Trump’s attacks on Biden were fair (50%). % said yes, 49% no).
This is a more positive outcome for Trump. In a direct CNN poll after the first presidential debate, only 28% said they believed the president had won the debate, and 67% said their criticism of Biden was unfair.
Everyone said, however, that the discussion did not do much to move the impressions of both candidates. Biden’s favorable views before the debate stood at 55% and remained stable at 56% in post-debate interviews. Similarly, Trump’s numbers remained flat, with 42% saying they had a positive view of the president in interviews before Thursday’s debate and 41% saying the same afterwards.
However, most observers in the debate said that Trump’s performance raises concerns about how he will handle the presidency (55%) than Biden did (41%).
Observers on Thursday favored Trump over Biden over the economy (56% say they think Trump will handle it better than 44% say Biden), and it was evenly divided between the two on foreign policy ( 50% prefer Biden, 48% Trump). Biden maintained a large advantage as more credible to handle the coronavirus (57% Biden to 41% Trump), climate change (67% Biden to 29% Trump) and racial inequality in the US (62% Biden to 35% Trump ).
Biden was also widely seen as offering a better plan for solving the country’s problems (54% Biden to 42% Trump) and voters separated who seemed to be the strongest leader (49% each).
Although Thursday’s event was much less controversial than the first presidential debate, Biden was much more likely to be considered to have answered the moderator’s questions promptly (62% said he did, 31% said Trump).
Women were more likely than men to say that Biden did the best job in the discussion (60% of women said Biden won, 35% Trump, while among men, 47% said Biden won, 44% said Trump did). Independents also felt strongly that Biden won (55% Biden to 36% Trump), as did the moderates (56% Biden to 37% Trump) and White voters with college degrees (64% Biden to 29% Trump). . Among those 65 and over – a group that backs Biden more than they did Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to most polls – the verdict was a separate decision, with 46% saying Biden won, 43% Trump and 10% saying they both did equally well. Younger voters generally saw Biden as the winner, 66%, to 27% for Trump among those under 45.
Biden’s margin against Trump in this poll after the debate is just 1 point higher than Clinton’s victory over Trump in a final debate poll in 2016. Biden’s margin is the second largest in the recent CNN poll after the final presidential debates, behind Barack Obama Margin 58% to 31% against John McCain after the 2008 final debate.
The CNN poll after the debate was conducted by telephone by the SSRS and includes interviews with 585 registered voters who attended the October 22 presidential debate. Results among discussion observers have a sampling error margin of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points. Respondents were initially interviewed earlier this month, either by telephone or online, and said they planned to attend the discussion and would be willing to meet again when it was over. Respondents who first went online are members of the SSRS Opinion Panel, a nationally representative panel based on probability.