Presidential Debate 2012: CNN Snap Poll Declares Romney Winner, Liberal Blogs Sense Bias

 @LauraMatt
on October 04 2012 11:48 AM
Obama-Romney Debate
What do the candidates have to say about economic issues that aren't centered on taxes or the budget deficit? Reuters

Two snap polls conducted after Wednesday night’s presidential debate, one from CBS and one from CNN, similarly reported that Republican challenger Mitt Romney won the first round of the three debates. But the CNN poll is being called out by some liberal blogs for what they perceived as bias in the voter statistics.

According to the CNN/ORC International survey, two-thirds of 430 registered voters who watched the 2012 presidential debate between Romney and President Barack Obama declared the former Massachusetts governor the winner. The poll indicated a 67 percent to 25 percent win.

In the CBS poll, 46 percent of the 500 uncommitted voters surveyed said Romney won, while 22 percent gave the victory to Obama.

Though the end result is the same -- Romney did far better than Obama according to both polls -- some are still trying to make sense of the CNN poll, saying that those surveyed were all either 50 years of age or older and mainly from the South, where nearly every state is solidly Republican.

“The internals of the poll look really strange,” wrote Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, a liberal blog. “If you look at the breakdown of the sample, it doesn’t appear to contain anyone (or doesn’t appear to contain any representative sample) under 50, anyone outside of the South or anyone who’s not white. [It] doesn’t make sense to me that they’d do or release a poll like that. So really curious if anyone has an explanation.”

Here’s a breakdown of the CNN poll:

-- 33 percent of those who responded identified as Republicans;

-- 37 percent identified as Democrats;

-- 29 percent identified as independents;

-- 21 percent said they felt Obama did better than expected, while 61 percent said he did worse;

-- 82 percent believed Romney was better than expected, while 10 percent felt he did worse;

--No one under 50 was surveyed;

-- The respondents were all from the South; 

-- Post-debate checks with these respondents showed that their favorable or unfavorable opinion of Obama hadn’t changed since last surveyed between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2. However, Romney’s favorability rose by 2 percentage points from 54 percent during the last survey to 56 in the most recent.

A request to CNN for comment regarding the internal polling data hasn’t been answered yet. Talking Points Memo later issued an update stating that CNN provided the internals of its poll, showing "the demographics of the poll respondents are very much line with normal standards for randomized sampling."

After the poll was conducted, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said the survey “does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans.”

“It only represents the views of people who watched the debate and by definition cannot be an indication of how the entire American public will react to Wednesday's debate in the coming days,” he said.

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