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CNN Post Debate Poll: Obama 51%, McCain 38%


If Obama won by 13% among all voters, that’s pretty significant. And if he won by that amount among independents, it’s even more significant.

An explanation…

About an hour ago, I posted about a CBS snap poll that showed a 14% post-debate spread among independents who thought Obama won it.

Now, I haven’t found out if the CNN poll represents all voters view, but if it does it means that independents probably broke even more significantly for Obama in these numbers than then did in the CBS given that McCain’s support from the base has been much more loyal than Obama’s.

So why the poor numbers for McCain?

Perhaps it was his shaky start. After all, if the first 10 minutes of a movie isn’t too good, people usually don’t have such a high opinion of it. The same could be said for this debate, where the economy dominated the first 30 and Obama clearly won. McCain didn’t have much to offer besides cutting earmarks, and it was apparent.

But when the debate moved to foreign policy, McCain hit his stride. He obviously has a mastery of this subject, but it’s not like Obama sounded unstudied. In fact, he contrasted McCain’s worldview with his own extremely effectively, and that’s why I deemed it a tie at the time.

So, what’s the conclusion?

Well, the numbers from two different news orgs are within 1 point of each other and both show a big gain for Obama. That certainly suggests that he will at least win it when the “non-snap” polls come out tomorrow since the margins are large. But, of course, anything can happen, and CBS and CNN may be completely, dead wrong. However, I think that’s unlikely.

We shall see…