Gallup poll finds Romney tied with Obama after scoring historic debate win

A new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans who viewed last week’s presidential debate believe Mitt Romney won, propelling the GOP nominee into a tie with President Obama.

A new Gallup poll released Monday shows that 72 percent of debate watchers picked Romney as the winner of the Wednesday face-off in Denver. Twenty percent picked Obama. 

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Gallup said the 52-point edge for Romney was the largest winning margin measured by the polling firm for a debate. The prior largest winning margin was for Bill Clinton in the 1992 town-hall debate with then-President George H.W. Bush. Clinton held a 42-point edge in that post-debate survey.

Romney also was pegged as the debate winner by independents, by 70 to 19 percent, and even by Democrats, who said his performance topped Obama’s by 49 percent to 39.

Gallup said the strong debate performance also helped push Romney into a tie with Obama, with both candidates pulling support from 47 percent of registered voters over three days after the debate. Those number show Romney’s debate helping him close a 5-point gap. In pre-debate polling, Obama topped Romney by 50 to 45 percent support.


The Gallup findings mirror two flash polls conducted immediately after last Wednesday’s debate. A CNN/ORC poll of registered voters who watched the debate showed 67 percent picked Romney as the winner, with 25 percent of those surveyed saying Obama won.

Obama’s showing in the debate brought criticism from many supporters as well, who criticized his performance as subdued and said that president had failed to aggressively challenge Romney.

Post-debate polls have shown Romney closing the gap in many swing states, and a Rasmussen tracking poll released Sunday said the GOP candidate now held a 49-47 advantage over the president.

The Gallup daily tracking poll was conducted from Oct. 4 to 6 and has a 3-point margin of error.