Xbox Live Community Gives Clearest Response To Who Won The Vice Presidential Debate
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced unprecedented viewer engagement with its new 2012 Presidential Debate viewing platform for Thursday's Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.  Microsoft/Xbox Live Arcade

Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates alike often produce a fresh round of arguments from voters and political pundits alike about who “won” the political contest. But not so if you watched Thursday night’s Vice Presidential debate on an Xbox 360 gaming console. According to a blog post by Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Director of Programming for the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) Larry Hryb, better known to many by his gamer tag “Major Nelson,” Xbox 360 viewers were squarely in support of Vice President Joe Biden.

In last night’s post, Hryb said that when asked, “Who won the debate,” 88.5% of Obama supporters (whether strong or leaning) chose Biden. Self-identified undecided voters also chose Biden by a large margin, as did viewers who identified themselves as “other” -- 52.6% to 26.4%. Romney supporters, or those who said they were leaning towards voting for Mitt Romney, were the only group that overwhelmingly selected Congressman Paul Ryan as the winner.

The question “Who do you think is more truthful” yielded similar results.

· Biden won the debate with Xbox Swing Voters: 44.1% of undecided voters declared Biden the winner with 22.9% choosing Ryan.

· Biden was overwhelmingly viewed by our swing voters as being more truthful, garnering the favor of 72.2% of undecided respondents.

· An overwhelming 70.1% of undecided voters do not consider a candidate's religion when deciding for whom to vote.

· 53.7% of undecided voters felt that Biden is better prepared to step in as president compared to 21% for Ryan

As a full-fledged political poll, an XBLA survey may not measure up to nation-wide polls. Hryb noted in his comment that there were over 800,000 responses to the poll questions asked throughout the debate, with around 30,000 responses given to each question. That being said, if nothing else, the news is a sign of how Microsoft is attempting through clever means to break into a previously untapped market (for console developers, at least) of live programming.

Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that they would live-stream all three Presidential debates and the one Vice Presidential debate through their new “Elections Hub.” The program is part of a larger plan unveiled in September by the company to establish its video game console as an exclusive entertainment hub for households, offering “television-style” programming to rival that of the major cable networks -- who are also planning their own run at the video game market. But unlike YouTube, who’s simply streaming the events, Xbox is asking (Xbox LIVE Gold) members to provide feedback during the contests.

“Throughout the debate, the Xbox LIVE community will be able to weigh in with their opinions by responding to real-time poll questions about the candidate’s performances, their responses to questions and views on issues,” Microsoft said when the program was first unveiled.