Kerry won debate, say polls
October 01, 2004 13:43 IST
Democratic challenger John Kerry prevailed over President George W Bush in the first debate, according to initial polls among the likely voters by leading American televison networks.
ABC television reported from a random sampling among 531 voters who watched last night's debate that 45 per cent called Kerry a winner, 36 per cent favoured Bush and 17 per cent called it a tie.
A CNN Gallup poll gave Kerry a 46 per cent to 37 per cent win over the president. Now, 46 per cent of those asked have a better opinion of Kerry against 21 percent for Bush. The CBS network, based on poll of 200 voters, said 44 percent gave victory to Kerry against 26 percent for Bush.
Thirty percent said neither candidate won.
A significant finding by ABC was that Kerry led by 20 points among the independents which could give Democratic an advantage in a tight race with both Republicans and Democratic committed to vote for their own candidates.
While 70 per cent of Bush's supporters said he is the winner, 89 per cent of Kerry supporters thought that their man had won, according to the ABC poll.
But not many voters changed their mind to vote for the other candidate after the debate.
Analysts said this was customary and it would take a few days before the effect of the debate become visible in support for each candidate.
ABC poll found that 50 per cent supported Bush before and 51 percent after the debate. Similarly, 46 per cent favoured Kerry before and 47 per cent after the debate.