Obama bested McCain 48%-34% after first presidental debate

By Nadine Elsibai, Bloomberg

Viewers of the first presidential debate said Barack Obama did the better job during the event two nights ago, with 48 percent choosing the Democratic candidate compared with 34 percent for his Republican rival John McCain, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.

The nationwide telephone poll, conducted Sept. 27, showed results similar to surveys by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. and CBS News/Knowledge Networks. The USA Today poll included 701 adults who said they watched the debate. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The CNN telephone poll of 524 adults who watched the debate found 51 percent said Obama did the best job, while 38 percent said McCain did. The CBS online poll of 483 uncommitted voters found 39 percent said Obama won, 24 percent said McCain did, and 37 percent said it was a tie.

The CNN poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, while the CBS survey’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

(To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Elsibai in Washington at [email protected].)