Number crunching the polls: how much does the second debate matter?

Updated

In today’s guest spot, or as we like to call it on The Cycle “The Nate Spot,” Nate Cohn, Staff Writer at the New Republic, joined the Cyclists to help crunch the numbers on who won Tuesday’s debate. Both Obama and Romney’s teams are currently spinning the debate as wins for their respective parties, but it’s not quite so easy to pick a definitive winner.

If you look at the CBS poll, 37% say President Obama came out on top while only 30% believe that Romney was the winner. To further enforce the point, CNN’s poll concluded that 46% of those polled believe Obama won, while 39% are on the Romney bandwagon.

However, when trying to figure out who really won Tuesday’s debate, we need to take a look at who won on specific issues.  According to the CBS poll, when it came to the economy, only 34% believe that President Obama would do a better job handling the economy while 65% would put their trust in Romney. However, 56% of those polled believe that President Obama would do a better job helping the middle class, with Romney getting just 43% of that vote. Most importantly, Obama came out the winner when asked who directly answered the questions he was asked, 55% to Romney’s 49%.

So when our Cyclists asked Nate Cohn if the debate would move the needle, he said it wouldn’t have as great an effect as the first debate had for Romney because both candidates came out strong. However, he did point out that if the election were today, polls in battleground states indicate the President would win. Check out the full conversation to learn what Nate thinks Romney must do to change that, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.

Number crunching the polls: how much does the second debate matter?

Updated