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Post-debate polls show Clinton won, but Trump did better than expected

Trump really needed a win.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Oct 10, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:17 pm CDT

Who won the second presidential debate? It depends on what your definition of “won” is.

Following the release of an 11-year-old tape showing the Republican presidential nominee bragging about how his wealth and fame allowed him to commit sexual assault with impunity, the presidential campaign of Donald Trump was really hoping to come out of Sunday evening’s debate with the wind in his sails.

However, the first snap poll conducted immediately following the debate showed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning handily. The CNN/ORC poll found that, by a 23-point margin, debate watchers said Clinton won the debate over Trump.

similar survey of 812 registered voters who watched the debate, conducted by YouGov, found that 47 percent thought Clinton won compared to 42 percent who gave the victory to Trump.

That is certainly not good news for Trump, whom FiveThirtyEight’s election forecasting model currently only gives an 18.4 percent likelihood of winning the presidency in November, as of early Monday morning.

There is a silver lining for Trump: The CNN poll found that 63 percent of respondents said Trump did better than they expected going into the debate. 

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*First Published: Oct 10, 2016, 1:25 am CDT