So notes Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller:
Bullish Democrats are calling it a blow-out. Pundits are giving the president the slight edge. And the late-night insta-polls splashed across cable news chyrons initially appeared to give Obama a solid, if not game-changing, win.
But the Romney campaign spent the hours after the contest contending that the debate strengthened their position — and they may have a point.
A CNN/ORC International poll published late Tuesday identified Obama has the overall winner, 46 percent to 39 percent.
But the poll also showed that Romney won on virtually every issue he’s chosen to place at the center of his campaign, from handling of the economy and tax policy, to the deficit and even health care. The Republican National Committee quickly seized on the results, and blasted out screenshots of Wolf Blitzer standing behind a giant, illuminated screen displaying the findings.
The screen shots to which Miller refers can be veiwed below:
To sum up, CNN claims Obama “won” the debate by seven points (46-39), yet the same poll indicates voters prefer Romney 58-40 on the economy, 51-44 on taxes, and a lop-sided 59-36 on the deficit (I guess people aren’t buying Obama’s ridiculous claim that he’s suddenly is concerned with Washington’s overspending). The election will turn on the economy, as it always does, and there’s no way Obama “won” the debate if voters prefer Romney on these economic issues by these margins after watching it. The CBS instapoll resulted in a similar contradiction. By a margin of 37-30 viewers polled said Obama won the debate, yet by a staggering 65-34 margin, they preferred Romney on the economy.
This contradiction mirrors the tendency of recent polls to show Obama with a topline lead while losing independents by a statistically significant margin. The latest example was Monday’s ABC WaPo poll which showed Obama with a 3-point lead while losing independents by 6. Put simply, there’s no way Obama can win the popular vote if he loses independents by that margin. In 2008 Obama won both the popular vote and the independent vote by eight points (53-45 and 52-44), respectively). Now we’re to believe he’s winning the popular vote by three while losing indies by six? I think not. (Of course the only way the ABC/WaPo poll could show Obama leading was by massively oversampling Democrats). In any event, any poll that indicates Obama won the debate by 7 points while losing on the economy by 18, taxes by 7, and the budget deficit by 23 isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Related: National Review’s Katrina Trinko confirms that debate moderators give Democrats more time to make their case than Republicans:
If you want more time to get your message out in debates, it’s good to be a Democrat.
According to the CNN debate clock, President Obama spoke at greater length than Mitt Romney during both debates, as did Vice President Biden during his debate with Paul Ryan. In the first debate, Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney — which means he got 8 percent more talking time than Romney. In last night’s debate, Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney, giving him 11 percent more talking time. Obama talked for 52 percent of the time when either man had the floor, while Romney talked for 47 percent.
During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn’t as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan. Still, that gave Biden 3 percent more speaking time than Ryan.