CBS "insta-poll" shows Kerry scoring big

By Mark Follman
Published October 1, 2004 3:22AM (EDT)

Using some new online technology, CBS tracked the reactions of roughly 200 undecided voters during and right after the debate. Dan Rather acknowledged that the polling system was "unscientific" -- but even so, the results of the quick pulse-taking look pretty great for John Kerry.

On the question of "who won?":

Kerry: 44%
Bush: 26%
tie: 30%

On the question of "who has a clearer plan for iraq?":

Kerry: 51%
Bush: 38%

And 52% of the undecideds said that their "opinion of Kerry improved" from the debate.

The network that has taken a beating for its mistakes in the forged documents debacle wasn't afraid to offer a couple of quick opinions, either. In discussion with Dan Rather, chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer said that President Bush "seemed pretty defensive" in the beginning, adding that he thought Kerry came out strong.

UPDATE: An ABC News insta-poll showed similar results, with Bush faring just a bit better. Of 531 people polled, 35% of them Republicans (ABC didn't indicate the breakdown of the other 65% with regard to Dem or indie):

"Who won?": Kerry: 45%
Bush: 36%
tie: 17%

UPDATE 2: Insta-polling may be a blunt instrument, but there seems to be a pattern forming here. CNN's survey of 615 registered voters on "who won?":

Kerry: 53%
Bush: 37%

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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