Who won last night’s vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky? It depends on who you ask.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan virtually tied with Vice President Joe Biden, according to a CNN/ORC International poll of 381 registered voters who watched the nationally televised event. Among registered voters who watched the debate, 48 percent said Ryan won while 44 percent said Biden.
But among voters polled who are either undecided or say they may change their mind, 50 percent say Biden won and 31 percent picked Ryan, according to a CBS News poll. Nineteen percent said the debate was a draw. The margin of error for both polls was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Biden, seeking to repair damage done by President Barack Obama’s subdued debate performance last week, was assertive while clashing with Ryan over foreign policy, Medicare and taxes.
Both men met their objectives in their lone debate, as Biden filled in many of the gaps that had triggered Democratic criticism of Obama. Ryan held his ground, and neither committed any unforced errors.
It’s less clear who won than in the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, when most agreed Obama was outdueled by Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Since then, polls have narrowed in many swing stastes, with a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll putting Romney ahead in Colorado, the site of the first presidential debate, 48 percent to 47 percent. That split is a reversal of Obama’s one-point lead last month.
Obama and Romney face off again on Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York.
John McCormick and Mike Dorning assisted on this report.