According to CNN, 62% say Clinton won the first debate while 27% say Trump did.
That drubbing is similar to Mitt Romney’s dominant performance over President Barack Obama in the first 2012 presidential debate.
Voters who watched said Clinton expressed her views more clearly than Trump and had a better understanding of the issues by a margin of more than 2-to-1. Clinton also was seen as having done a better job addressing concerns voters might have about her potential presidency by a 57% to 35% margin, and as the stronger leader by a 56% to 39% margin.
The gap was smaller on which candidate appeared more sincere and authentic, though still broke in Clinton’s favor, with 53% saying she was more sincere vs. 40% who felt Trump did better on that score. Trump topped Clinton 56% to 33% as the debater who spent more time attacking their opponent.
Although the survey suggested debate watchers were more apt to describe themselves as Democrats than the overall pool of voters, even independents who watched deemed Clinton the winner, 54% vs. 33% who thought Trump did the best job in the debate.
And the survey suggests Clinton outperformed the expectations of those who watched. While pre-debate interviews indicated these watchers expected Clinton to win by a 26-point margin, that grew to 35 points in the post-debate survey.
About half in the poll say the debate did not have an effect on their voting plans, 47% said it didn’t make a difference, but those who say they were moved by it tilted in Clinton’s direction, 34% said the debate made them more apt to vote for Clinton, 18% more likely to back Trump.