Results of SurveyUSA News Poll #14473
 
State of Washington Independents Say McCain is Clear Winner of 1st Presidential Debate: Immediately following tonight's debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, SurveyUSA interviewed 1,000 state of Washington adults, of whom 631 watched tonight's debate.

Of all debate watchers:
40% say McCain was the clear winner.
38% say Obama was the clear winner.
23% say there was no clear winner.

But: Independents, the most critical, coveted and arguably most dispassionate group of debate watcher, gave by 4:3 the nod to McCain.
Republicans by 6:1 say McCain won. Democrats by 6:1 say Obama won. Those two groups offset.

Debate watchers say McCain understands Iraq better, McCain understands Iran better, McCain understands Russia better. Debate watchers split on who they trust more on the economy, split on who was more presidential. Overwhelmingly, debate watchers say moderator Jim Lehrer was fair to both candidates. About half wish Lehrer had spent more time on the economy.

SurveyUSA state of Washington research conducted exclusively for KING-TV Seattle.

 
1Did you watch tonight's debate?
1000 AdultsAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.1%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
Yes63%68%58%47%65%74%79%56%76%54%79%74%65%**53%51%63%62%71%71%72%60%61%61%65%
No36%32%41%52%35%26%20%44%23%45%18%26%34%**46%48%37%37%29%29%27%40%38%39%35%
Not Sure1%0%1%1%0%0%2%0%1%0%3%0%0%**1%1%0%1%0%0%1%0%1%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%
Composition of Adults100%49%51%32%32%21%15%64%36%58%8%34%82%3%6%10%24%33%33%25%36%20%26%21%53%
 
 
2Was John McCain the clear winner? Was Barack Obama the clear winner? Or, was there no clear winner?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
John McCain40%45%33%42%42%32%43%42%36%41%40%37%40%**40%32%74%11%43%71%35%14%31%44%42%
Barack Obama38%32%44%37%37%43%32%37%38%38%30%39%38%**37%35%12%65%34%10%43%61%46%33%36%
No Clear Winner23%23%22%20%21%25%26%21%25%21%29%24%22%**22%33%14%25%23%19%22%25%23%23%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
3Was there too much emphasis on the economy? Too little? Or just the right amount?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
Too Much8%9%7%17%5%5%6%10%5%11%5%5%7%**11%9%4%9%10%5%6%9%6%5%10%
Too Little42%40%44%30%41%49%50%36%49%35%52%47%40%**46%49%42%43%38%36%46%35%41%45%41%
Just The Right Amount47%49%46%53%49%43%43%51%43%52%41%44%50%**40%38%50%46%51%56%46%52%51%47%46%
Not Sure3%3%3%1%5%3%2%3%3%2%2%4%3%**4%3%4%3%1%3%2%3%2%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%100%100%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
4Who do you trust more on the economy, McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain45%50%38%42%49%35%53%46%43%45%52%42%45%**49%39%79%13%49%77%42%12%39%53%44%
Obama49%46%53%50%45%60%41%47%52%48%42%53%49%**47%58%16%83%45%14%52%87%55%40%50%
Not Sure6%3%9%7%6%5%6%7%6%7%6%5%6%**4%4%5%3%7%9%6%0%6%7%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
5Who understands Iraq better? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain54%60%47%64%54%43%56%58%48%59%56%47%54%**66%42%85%21%60%85%52%23%47%67%52%
Obama40%36%45%31%40%51%37%36%45%36%36%46%40%**32%41%14%74%32%12%43%72%47%26%42%
Not Sure6%5%8%6%5%6%8%6%7%5%8%7%6%**2%17%1%4%9%3%5%6%6%7%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
6Who understands Iran better? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain53%59%46%56%53%45%62%54%52%53%65%50%54%**53%47%82%21%59%84%54%19%48%65%51%
Obama40%35%45%37%40%49%31%39%41%40%27%44%39%**46%45%13%73%33%12%40%75%44%29%42%
Not Sure7%5%8%7%7%6%7%7%7%7%8%6%7%**1%8%5%6%7%4%6%6%8%6%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
7Who understands Russia better? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.9%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain57%62%51%63%59%47%57%61%52%61%58%51%55%**73%70%83%29%61%85%53%33%48%63%59%
Obama37%33%41%31%34%45%37%33%42%32%38%42%38%**25%27%13%65%31%10%43%61%44%31%36%
Not Sure6%5%8%6%6%7%6%6%7%7%4%7%7%**1%3%4%6%7%5%4%7%8%6%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
8Who was more tired? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain46%44%48%44%45%52%43%44%48%44%44%50%46%**38%40%32%69%36%26%48%68%55%32%47%
Obama28%30%26%28%34%22%24%31%23%31%21%25%28%**28%32%41%13%32%38%28%15%19%35%29%
Not Sure26%26%26%28%22%25%33%24%28%25%36%25%26%**34%28%27%18%32%36%24%17%26%32%24%
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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
9Who was more presidential? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain43%47%38%46%43%34%49%44%41%43%48%41%43%**55%35%74%14%46%74%38%15%36%49%43%
Obama51%47%55%49%51%57%43%50%51%51%44%51%50%**41%64%22%80%47%21%54%80%56%41%52%
Not Sure7%6%7%5%6%8%8%6%8%5%8%8%8%**5%1%4%6%8%5%8%5%8%9%5%
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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
10Who had the best one-liner? McCain? Or Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
McCain40%47%32%47%45%28%38%46%33%46%32%35%40%**26%56%66%17%43%69%32%24%35%41%43%
Obama40%38%43%36%39%48%37%38%43%38%40%44%39%**62%37%19%64%36%13%47%61%40%40%41%
Not Sure19%15%24%16%16%23%25%16%24%16%29%21%21%**12%7%14%19%21%18%21%15%25%19%17%
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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
11Should this debate have been held tonight? Or should this debate have been postponed?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 3.3%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
Should Have Been Held78%76%81%68%77%87%82%73%85%73%77%85%80%**59%83%76%88%73%72%78%91%84%72%78%
Should Have Been Postponed17%18%15%23%18%11%13%20%12%19%16%14%15%**36%14%19%10%20%17%19%8%14%22%16%
Not Sure5%7%4%9%5%2%5%7%3%8%7%2%6%**5%3%5%2%7%11%3%1%2%6%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
12Was the moderator of the debate, Jim Lehrer, fair to both candidates? Unfair to McCain? Or Unfair to Obama?
631 Debate ViewersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+AgeRaceParty AffiliationIdeologyRegion
Margin of Sampling Error: ± 2.4%MaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+< Obama> McCain> In BetWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/OtRepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalWestern Eastern Metro Se
Fair To Both90%91%88%88%87%91%93%88%92%88%92%91%90%**90%85%86%94%88%87%93%93%89%92%89%
Unfair To McCain4%4%4%2%5%5%3%4%4%3%4%5%3%**9%7%6%2%4%6%2%2%3%5%4%
Unfair To Obama4%2%6%8%3%3%1%5%2%5%1%2%4%**1%4%5%2%4%1%4%4%4%2%4%
Not Sure3%4%2%2%5%1%2%4%2%4%3%2%3%**0%4%3%2%4%6%1%2%4%2%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%
Composition of Debate Viewers100%53%47%24%33%25%19%56%44%50%11%39%84%3%5%8%24%33%37%28%40%19%25%21%54%
 
 
** Too few respondents of this type were interviewed for this data to be meaningful.