Results of SurveyUSA News Poll #14607
 
Heavily Democratic California Again Sees Decisive Obama Win In 3rd Presidential Debate: Immediately following tonight's 3rd presidential debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, SurveyUSA interviewed 1,200 California adults, of whom 878 watched the debate. Of California debate watchers:

56% say Obama is the clear winner (vs 53% in 1st debate, 56% in 2nd debate).
28% say McCain is the clear winner (vs 30% in 1st debate, 26% in 2nd debate).
16% say there is no clear winner (vs 18% in 1st and 2nd debate).

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. But as in previous post-debate polls by SurveyUSA, California Republicans were less enthusiastic about John McCain's debate performance than California Democrats were about Barack Obama's performance. 1 in 4 Republicans say Democrat Obama is the clear winner, compared to 1 in 10 Democrats who say Republican McCain is the clear winner. Independents, the most critical, coveted and arguably most dispassionate group of debate watchers, break 5:3 for Obama.

49% say McCain was too forceful, 19% say McCain was not forceful enough. 30% say McCain was "just right."
14% say Obama was too forceful, 22% say Obama was not forceful enough. 61% say Obama was "just right."

39% of California debate watchers say the candidates spent too much time attacking each other, 13% say the candidates spent too little time attacking each other. 45% thought the candidates spent the right amount of time was attacking each other.

California debate watchers by 5:1 say McCain was more angry, by 2:1 say Obama laid out a clearer vision for America's future. Overwhelmingly, debate watchers say moderator Bob Schieffer was fair to both candidates. SurveyUSA state of California research conducted exclusively for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KFSN-TV Fresno, and KGTV-TV San Diego.

 
1Was John McCain the clear winner? Was Barack Obama the clear winner? Or, was there no clear winner?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.4 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
John McCain28%28%28%23%28%32%33%25%33%32%25%20%29%60%10%29%57%24%8%36%24%34%24%
Barack Obama56%56%56%62%55%55%47%59%51%52%64%64%52%23%75%55%31%58%81%47%60%49%61%
No Clear Winner16%16%16%15%17%13%20%16%16%16%11%16%19%17%14%16%13%18%11%17%16%17%15%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
2Did the candidates spend too much time attacking each other? Too little time? Or the right amount of time?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.4 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Too Much39%41%37%38%39%41%39%38%40%38%38%42%39%30%47%33%27%40%47%41%39%37%40%
Too Little13%14%12%13%13%13%13%13%13%13%14%18%7%18%11%12%18%12%9%14%14%17%7%
Just The Right Amount45%42%47%46%44%43%47%45%44%47%46%38%49%50%38%52%50%45%41%43%45%44%47%
Not Sure3%2%4%3%4%3%2%3%2%3%2%3%5%2%4%3%5%2%3%2%3%2%6%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
3Was Barack Obama too forceful? Not forceful enough? Or just right?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.3 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Too Forceful14%15%12%13%14%13%16%13%14%14%12%16%11%30%8%9%30%10%5%23%11%20%7%
Not Forceful Enough22%24%19%23%21%22%20%22%21%21%22%19%30%23%16%31%24%24%16%21%19%21%27%
Just Right61%59%64%63%60%61%60%62%60%63%60%63%54%40%75%56%39%63%77%54%66%57%63%
Not Sure3%3%4%1%5%4%4%3%4%3%6%2%6%6%1%4%7%2%2%2%4%3%3%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
4Was John McCain too forceful? Not forceful enough? Or just right?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.4 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Too Forceful49%51%47%54%48%51%39%51%46%49%50%49%51%23%64%48%23%54%70%43%51%41%57%
Not Forceful Enough19%20%18%19%17%17%28%18%22%17%21%25%19%28%16%18%33%15%12%25%16%22%18%
Just Right30%27%33%27%30%32%32%29%32%34%28%24%27%49%19%31%44%29%17%31%30%36%24%
Not Sure2%1%2%0%4%1%1%2%1%1%2%2%3%1%1%3%1%2%2%1%3%1%0%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
5Which candidate was more truthful?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.4 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain32%33%30%26%33%36%36%29%36%35%31%24%34%64%14%35%62%29%9%36%28%41%27%
Obama56%55%57%63%55%54%45%59%50%50%64%64%56%22%74%55%30%57%78%48%61%48%59%
Not Sure12%12%13%11%12%10%19%11%14%14%5%12%10%14%12%10%8%14%12%15%11%11%14%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
6Which candidate was more angry?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.1 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain70%70%70%77%66%69%64%71%67%67%68%72%75%49%81%72%50%74%82%61%74%63%74%
Obama15%15%14%15%16%14%12%16%13%16%18%16%9%30%8%13%25%12%10%20%13%20%10%
Not Sure16%15%17%8%18%16%25%13%20%17%15%12%17%21%11%16%26%14%8%19%13%16%16%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
7Which candidate laid out a better vision for America's future?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.3 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain31%32%30%22%32%35%39%27%37%36%30%22%28%65%12%34%62%26%10%41%26%38%24%
Obama62%61%63%68%60%61%54%64%58%58%68%72%56%26%83%59%33%65%84%49%68%57%65%
Not Sure7%7%7%9%7%4%7%8%5%6%2%6%16%9%6%8%5%8%6%10%6%5%10%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
8Who had the best one-liner?
878 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 3.4 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
McCain33%33%33%25%34%37%42%29%39%38%30%26%31%57%19%35%56%31%17%41%28%44%27%
Obama42%43%41%56%39%37%30%47%34%33%53%58%42%18%56%43%28%44%55%36%48%32%45%
Not Sure25%24%25%19%28%25%28%24%26%29%17%17%27%25%24%22%16%25%27%23%23%24%29%
Total100%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%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%
 
9Was the moderator of the debate, Bob Schieffer, fair to both candidates? Unfair to McCain? Or Unfair to Obama?
878 Debate WatchersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+RaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Credibility Interval: ± 2 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalCentral Greater Inland EBay Area
Fair To Both90%89%91%87%90%91%93%89%92%92%86%86%91%86%91%91%84%92%91%89%92%81%93%
Unfair To McCain5%6%4%7%4%5%4%5%5%4%9%7%5%8%4%4%10%4%3%5%4%11%3%
Unfair To Obama2%2%2%3%3%2%1%3%1%3%1%3%2%1%3%3%2%2%3%2%2%3%1%
Not Sure3%3%3%4%2%2%2%3%2%2%4%4%2%4%2%2%4%2%3%4%2%4%2%
Total100%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 Watchers100%51%49%31%31%21%16%63%37%52%6%26%16%24%45%29%24%51%20%18%40%19%23%