Joe Biden did a better job in the final debate on Thursday according to a CNN Instant Poll of debate watchers. Overall, 53% of voters who watched the debate said that Biden won the matchup, while 39% said that President Donald Trump did.
Viewers once again said that Biden’s criticisms of Trump were largely fair (73% said they were fair, 26% unfair), and they split over whether Trump’s attacks on Biden were fair (50% said yes, 49% no).
That’s a more positive outcome for Trump. In a CNN Instant Poll after the first presidential debate, just 28% said they thought the President had won the debate, and 67% called his criticism of Biden unfair.
All told though, the debate did not do much to move impressions of either candidate. Favorable views of Biden before the debate stood at 55%, they held steady at 56% in post-debate interviews. Likewise, Trump’s numbers held steady, with 42% saying they had a favorable view of the President in interviews conducted before Thursday’s debate and 41% saying the same afterward.
The CNN post-debate poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone and includes interviews with 585 registered voters who watched the October 22 presidential debate. Results among debate-watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points. Respondents were originally interviewed earlier this month either by telephone or online, and indicated they planned to watch the debate and would be willing to be re-interviewed when it was over. Respondents initially reached online are members of the SSRS Opinion Panel, a nationally representative probability-based panel.