Swing State voters gave President Barack Obama the victory in the third and final debate with Republican challenge Mitt Romney.
The Oct. 22 debate focused on foreign policy but the candidates repeatedly returned to sparring over domestic issues. The debate took place in Boca Raton, Fla. Numerous commentators and media outlets, in post-debate analysis, gave Obama the win.
So did voter surveys.
A CNN/ORC International poll showed 48 percent favored Obama's debate performance compared to 40 percent for Romney.
In a CBS poll immediately after the debate, 53 percent of more than 500 voters surveyed gave the debate title to Obama, 23 percent said Romney won and 24 percent felt the debate was a tie.
Public Policy Polling, under contract with the group Americans United for Change, polled voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin on debate night. The organization found that Barack Obama was the winner – 53 percent of those surveyed think the president won.
Obama's winning margin among critical independent voters was larger than his overall win, with 55 percent of them picking him as the winner to 40 percent for Romney.
The sense that Obama was the winner was pretty universal across different demographics groups: women (57/39), men (48/45), Hispanics (69/29), African Americans (87/13), whites (49/45), young voters (55/40), and seniors (53/43) all thought Obama came out ahead.
PPP also polled on who voters in the critical states were supporting on Election Day – or before as they cast absentee or early in-person ballots. According to the survey, 51 percent of the swing state voters say they're going to support Obama. That includes a 46/36 advantage for Obama with independents.
Also, Obama seems to have made progress with groups he was previously down by wide margins with. Among men (50/47) and whites (50/46) he is trailing only slightly and with seniors he's actually ahead 52/47.
Obama came out of the debate as the candidate trusted more on foreign policy by a 51/47 margin, much closer than his overall victory in the face off.