Who Won the Final Debate?

The experts said this was John McCain’s last best chance to turn the tide. The election has been going Barack Obama’s way, and his republican rival needed a big win in the third and final debate. Did Sen. McCain get it? The polls say one thing, but do the pundits agree?

Click here to watch the final debate

The Polls
According to a national poll that CNN conducted after the debate, 58% of people felt Barack Obama won the debate, while 31% felt that John McCain performed better. The poll also indicates that the majority of people polled felt Obama would do a better job on the economy, health care, and taxes. Additionally, those polled felt Obama was more likable and the stronger leader.

While CNN’s poll suggests an Obama landslide, the folks at Politico have different results. According to an “exclusive survey” of undecided voters, 49% of folks felt Sen. Obama won, while 46% believed Sen. McCain could claim victory. Politico notes that the 3-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

CBS News conducted its own poll of uncommitted voters and found that Barack Obama won the third debate by a wide margin: 53% believed that Sen. Obama was stronger while 22% sided with Sen. McCain. A full 25% thought it was too close to call. It wasn’t all bad news for McCain, though. According to the poll, more uncommitted voters trust the Arizona senator to handle a crisis.

The Pundits
ABC analyst (and former Bill Clinton aide) George Stephanopoulos wrote that this was McCain’s best effort, but that Obama was still the victor. Stephanopoulous credited Obama’s ability to stay cool and not grow exasperated during his opponent’s attacks.

Fox News asked a collection of in-house experts who won the debate, and the opinions were…well…fair and balanced. Some felt that McCain was feisty (in a good way) and proved that he is ready for a fight. Others believed that McCain didn’t score the huge hit he needed to stop Obama’s momentum.

Time‘s Mark Halperin graded both candidates on style, substance, offense, and defense. The columnist felt Obama did well (he earned a “B”), but that McCain bested him in all areas. The Maverick scored an A-.

(by Mike Krumboltz from yahoo.com)

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Third and Final Presidential Debate 2008 – Full Video and Results

Click here to watch the full video of the debate

CBS POLL:

UPDATED WITH FINAL RESULTS: As in the previous debates, CBS News and Knowledge Networks have conducted a nationally representative poll of uncommitted voters to get their immediate reaction to tonight’s presidential debate.

In the first presidential debate, second presidential debate and vice presidential debate, more uncommitted voters said the Democratic candidate was the victor.

And tonight’s results have, by a wide margin, made it a clean sweep. Here are the final results of the survey of 638 uncommitted voters:

Fifty-three percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed identified Democratic nominee Barack Obama as the winner of tonight’s debate. Twenty-two percent said Republican rival John McCain won. Twenty-five percent saw the debate as a draw.

More uncommitted voters trusted Obama than McCain to make the right decisions about health care. Before the debate, sixty-one percent of uncommitted voters said that they trust Obama on the issue; after, sixty-eight percent said so. Twenty-seven percent trusted McCain to manage health care before the debate; thirty percent said so afterwards.

Sixty-four percent think Obama will raise their taxes, while fifty percent think McCain will.

Before the debate, fifty-four percent thought Obama shared their values. That percentage rose to sixty-four percent after the debate. For McCain, fifty-two percent thought he shared their values before the debate, and fifty-five percent thought so afterwards.

Before the debate, fifty percent said they trusted Obama to handle a crisis; that rose to sixty-three percent afterwards. More uncommitted voters trusted McCain on this – seventy-eight percent before the debate, eighty-two percent after the debate.

But more trusted Obama than McCain to make the right decisions about the economy. Before the debate, fifty-four percent of uncommitted voters said that they trust Obama to make the right decisions about the economy; after, sixty-five percent said that. Before, thirty-eight percent trusted McCain to do so, and forty-eight percent did after the debate.

Before the debate, sixty-six percent thought Obama understands voters’ needs and problems; that rose to seventy-six percent after the debate. For McCain, thirty-six percent felt he understands voters’ needs before the debate, and forty-eight percent thought so afterwards.

We will have a full report on the poll later on. Uncommitted voters are those who don’t yet know who they will vote for, or who have chosen a candidate but may still change their minds.

(from CBS NEWS).