Results of SurveyUSA News Poll #14472
 
California By 5:3 Says Obama Won 1st Presidential Debate, But Independents Award Split Decision: Immediately following tonight's debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, SurveyUSA interviewed 1,000 California adults, of whom 693 watched tonight's debate. Of all debate watchers:

53% say Obama was the clear winner.
30% say McCain was the clear winner.
18% say there was no clear winner.

The party breakdown is critical to understanding California, which is a 'Blue' state and, as expected, had significantly more Democrats watching the debate than Republicans:

1 in 4 Republicans say Obama won.
1 in 8 Democrats say McCain won.
That means: Republicans say McCain won 2:1. Democrats say Obama won 5:1. Independents, the most critical, coveted and arguably most dispassionate group of debate watchers, split. 43% say Obama is the clear winner, 37% say McCain is the clear winner, 20% say there was no clear winner.

California debate watchers say Obama understands Iraq better, Obama understands Iran better, Obama understands Russia better. Debate watchers trust Obama materially more on the economy, thought Obama looked materially more presidential, and by 2:1 thought McCain looked more tired. Overwhelmingly, debate watchers say moderator Jim Lehrer was fair to both candidates. 4 in 10 wish Lehrer had spent more time on the economy.

SurveyUSA state of California research conducted exclusively for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KFSN-TV Fresno, and KGTV-TV San Diego.

 
1Did you watch tonight's debate?
1000 AdultsAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 2.9%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Yes69%76%62%58%69%79%82%63%80%62%84%78%73%77%62%67%67%73%75%72%77%78%66%70%65%75%
No30%23%37%41%30%21%17%36%19%37%14%22%27%22%38%30%32%27%23%27%23%21%32%30%35%25%
Not Sure1%0%1%1%0%0%1%1%1%1%2%0%0%1%0%3%1%0%2%1%0%2%2%0%0%0%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Adults100%49%51%35%29%21%15%64%36%60%8%32%51%6%28%15%26%49%19%19%44%20%20%41%19%21%
 
 
2Was John McCain the clear winner? Was Barack Obama the clear winner? Or, was there no clear winner?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
John McCain30%33%25%25%28%33%38%26%35%25%38%35%35%26%20%26%56%13%37%63%26%11%37%26%41%21%
Barack Obama53%48%58%65%53%49%35%59%43%61%33%46%45%65%65%54%25%72%43%23%53%73%42%57%45%60%
No Clear Winner18%18%17%10%19%18%27%14%22%14%29%19%20%9%14%19%19%15%20%14%22%16%20%17%15%19%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
3Was there too much emphasis on the economy? Too little? Or just the right amount?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Too Much8%8%7%10%7%6%8%9%7%9%7%6%7%13%10%5%8%7%8%13%7%5%7%8%11%5%
Too Little40%39%42%34%43%42%46%38%44%37%46%44%45%35%32%41%41%38%45%31%41%50%45%38%38%43%
Just The Right Amount49%51%47%54%46%52%43%50%48%51%45%48%47%49%54%49%50%51%48%55%49%42%41%52%50%51%
Not Sure3%2%3%2%4%1%3%3%2%3%2%1%1%3%4%5%2%4%0%1%3%2%7%2%1%1%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
4Who do you trust more on the economy, McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.7%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain36%42%30%34%33%36%48%33%41%32%49%40%42%25%32%31%64%20%41%73%31%18%46%35%47%24%
Obama60%55%65%62%65%61%46%63%55%65%47%56%55%71%64%63%33%76%54%25%65%77%52%61%48%73%
Not Sure4%3%5%5%2%4%6%3%5%3%4%4%3%3%4%6%4%3%5%2%4%5%2%5%5%3%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
5Who understands Iraq better? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain42%46%37%38%42%40%52%40%45%39%47%45%46%31%38%41%73%25%43%77%41%22%44%44%48%33%
Obama52%48%57%57%51%57%38%54%49%55%39%51%47%66%58%53%22%69%50%20%54%70%53%53%40%60%
Not Sure6%5%6%5%7%3%10%6%6%5%13%5%7%2%4%6%4%5%7%2%6%8%3%4%12%7%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
6Who understands Iran better? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain43%47%39%38%43%42%56%41%48%40%57%46%48%36%37%40%77%25%46%77%42%24%46%46%49%33%
Obama51%47%55%54%52%54%40%53%48%54%39%49%45%59%55%59%22%67%47%23%52%65%50%50%40%61%
Not Sure6%6%6%8%6%5%5%7%5%7%4%5%6%6%8%1%1%8%6%1%6%11%4%5%11%6%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
7Who understands Russia better? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain42%47%37%34%42%42%57%38%48%37%58%46%49%36%34%33%72%24%48%75%39%25%44%42%53%33%
Obama49%44%56%56%51%52%32%54%44%55%29%47%45%55%53%57%24%66%42%20%52%68%50%47%40%60%
Not Sure8%9%8%10%7%6%11%9%8%9%12%7%6%9%13%10%4%9%9%4%9%7%6%11%6%8%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
8Who was more tired? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain55%53%56%63%57%52%40%60%47%61%35%50%50%71%61%56%31%70%47%31%53%76%51%59%44%58%
Obama24%24%24%24%20%26%27%22%26%23%29%25%26%17%23%23%40%16%22%46%22%11%27%24%27%20%
Not Sure21%22%20%12%23%22%33%18%26%16%36%25%25%12%16%21%29%14%32%23%25%13%22%18%28%22%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
9Who was more presidential? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.7%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain33%36%29%27%31%34%46%29%39%27%45%38%38%25%26%29%61%17%38%66%30%12%37%33%43%23%
Obama61%57%66%71%63%61%43%67%54%68%42%56%55%74%70%64%32%79%53%26%63%85%58%62%53%69%
Not Sure6%7%4%2%6%5%11%4%8%4%13%6%7%1%4%6%7%4%9%8%7%3%5%5%4%8%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
10Who had the best one-liner? McCain? Or Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.8%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain30%34%25%26%28%35%35%27%35%26%37%35%35%23%24%27%58%16%30%66%27%10%35%29%37%24%
Obama52%47%59%62%49%51%43%56%48%57%39%49%44%62%63%59%25%71%40%23%54%68%49%54%49%54%
Not Sure17%19%16%12%23%14%22%17%17%17%24%16%21%14%13%15%16%14%29%12%19%22%15%17%14%23%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
11Should this debate have been held tonight? Or should this debate have been postponed?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 2.9%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Should Have Been Held83%81%85%84%83%82%82%83%82%82%81%84%83%83%84%83%83%85%82%77%80%95%77%83%84%87%
Should Have Been Postponed12%16%9%15%11%14%9%13%12%14%9%11%14%11%8%17%12%10%15%19%14%4%13%13%13%10%
Not Sure5%3%6%1%6%4%9%4%6%4%10%4%4%7%9%0%5%5%3%4%5%1%10%4%3%4%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%
 
 
12Was the moderator of the debate, Jim Lehrer, fair to both candidates? Unfair to McCain? Or Unfair to Obama?
693 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 2.6%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Fair To Both87%85%88%77%92%88%94%84%90%84%92%90%91%81%82%81%88%85%90%89%87%88%88%86%81%91%
Unfair To McCain4%5%3%9%2%3%2%5%2%6%3%2%4%1%3%7%4%5%3%4%4%6%3%4%8%2%
Unfair To Obama6%7%6%10%6%5%3%8%4%8%3%5%3%15%10%6%3%8%5%4%7%5%7%6%7%6%
Not Sure3%3%2%5%1%4%2%3%3%3%3%3%1%2%5%6%4%2%2%4%2%0%2%4%4%1%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%54%46%29%29%24%17%59%41%54%9%37%54%7%25%14%24%51%20%20%47%21%19%41%17%23%