Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Debate #1 Pre-Post Analysis

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Washington, D.C. - At 11pm last night, Ipsos added debate questions to our rolling online tracking survey. Between then and about noon today, we conducted 536 interviews with Registered Voters. The attached topline has a pre-debate/post-debate comparative analysis of the candidates on the key issues, as well as debate-specific questions.

The survey shows Romney to be the clear winner – and he appears to have gained some ground among undecided voters. Findings include:

  • From pre- to post- debate data, Romney’s favorability rating has shifted from 46% to 51%
  • When looking at which candidate has the best position on key issues, Romney has gained ground across the board, and has closed the gap in critical areas (and the gains seem to be from voters who previously did not have an opinion, rather than from Obama, suggesting gains among independent or undecided voters):
    • US Economy: Romney gained 5 points, while Obama dropped 4 (Romney moved from 35% to 40%, and Obama from 40% to 36%)
    • Healthcare and Social Security: Obama has remained steady, but Romney has gone up from 31% to 35% for Healthcare and 28% to 33% on Social Security
    • Medicare: Obama steady and Romney up, from 29% to 37%
    • Taxes: Romney from 31% to 36%
    • Jobs: Romney from 34% to 40%
  • On the debate questions specifically, 91% of Registered Voters said they had seen/heard/watched at least something about the elections
  • 50% thought Romney did a better job, compared to 28% saying Obama did… 22% said they were unsure
  • Over a quarter (27%) said the debate made them more positive towards Mitt Romney; 16% said the same for Obama
  • Almost half (48%) said that watching the debate will make them more likely to watch the next one

This is a daily rolling tracker – this means that we conduct 200-300 interviews a day, with occasional ‘boosts’, and aggregate data from the previous 4-5 days. The sample overlap that occurs as part of this process means that day-to-day changes will be incremental rather than large.

These are findings from an Ipsos polls conducted for Thomson Reuters from Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2012 (Pre-debate), and Oct. 3-4, 2012 (post-debate). For the survey, samples of 1,830 and 536 American registered voters (age 18 and over) were interviewed online, respectively. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the predebate poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for Registered Voters and 2.8 for Likely Voters; the post-debate poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points for Registered Voters and 5.2 for Likely Voters. For more information about credibility intervals, please see the appendix.

The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Figures marked by an asterisk (*) indicate a percentage value of greater than zero but less than one half of a per cent. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Julia Clark
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs

Clifford Young
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

To learn more visit: www.ipsos-na.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Ipsos/Reuters Poll: Debate #1 Pre-Post Analysis

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Clifford Young
President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs
Julia Clark
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs