Bolstered by his strong showing against President Barack Obama Wednesday night in the first of three presidential debates this election season, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney showed a significant boost in popularity, according to a new poll released by Ipsos Public Affairs Thursday.
The poll, which was conducted on behalf of Thompson Reuters, showed that 43 percent of likely voters would choose Romney as the next president of the United States, a four percent gain in favorability compared to numbers before the debate. The poll also revealed that 27 percent of all registered voters viewed the former Massachusetts governor more positively post-debate, compared to 19 percent of those who viewed him more negatively and the 40 percent whose opinion remained unchanged.
Romney is largely viewed the winner of the showdown with the president Wednesday night, whose spirited and aggressive attacks on the incumbent’s domestic policies, especially on health care, resonated more strongly with viewers against Obama’s longer and more methodical answers. A poll released by CNN shortly after the debate showed that 67 percent of Americans who tuned in believed Romney to be the victor, while 25 percent thought Obama had won.
Despite these numbers, though, support for the Democrat remains consistent among the general voting population. The Ispos poll showed that 48 percent of voters would cast their votes for the current president if the election was held today, a number that remained unchanged from before Wednesday’s debate. While only 16 percent of voters seen Obama in a more favorable light afterwards, 18 percent viewed him more negatively, one percent less than Romney. In addition, 54 percent said their views remained the same on the candidate.
Obama did suffer a loss of support for a few topics raised during the debate, though, most noticeably in regards to the economy, the poll showed. 36 percent of registered voters said they believed Obama has a stronger roadmap for economic recovery, a four percent drop from his number before the event. Romney, on the other hand, received a 5 percent bump in support for his economic policies, going from 35 percent to 40 percent.
Pollsters weren’t the only viewers hard at work Thursday, though. Various media outlets published articles fact-checking the two candidates’ answers from the previous night, shifting the fictions from the facts. According to an article published on PolitiFact.com, between the two men, three outright false statements were made, along with two “mostly-false” statements.