Spin Cycle

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Reaction polls show President Obama edged out Mitt Romney at Hofstra debate

President Obama and Mitt Romney debate at Hofstra

President Obama and Mitt Romney debate at Hofstra University. (Oct. 16, 2012) (Credit: Shannon Stapleton)

President Barack Obama had a slight edge over Mitt Romney in last night's debate at Hofstra University, according to at least three instant polls.

In a CBS News poll, 37 percent of uncommitted voters said the president won the heated contest in Hempstead. And of the 525 voters questioned, 56 percent felt President Obama would be more likely to help the middle class.

A large number of participants said they continued to believe Romney would do a better job of handling the economy, but the president made some progress in closing that gap.

Of those surveyed in a CNN/ORC International poll, 46 percent said the president walked away with a win, many noting he did better than expected. Still, nearly half said the debate did not swing their vote in either direction and Romney took the lead on some issues, inluding the economy.

A Google consumer surveys poll asked: Regardless of which candidate you support, who do you think did the better job in the debate? Of the 752 registered voters who responded, 48.5 percent answered President Obama while 31 percent said it was Mitt Romney and 20.5 percent believe they did the same.

While it's certainly interesting to gauge the immediate reaction of voters after a heated debate, the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver notes: "How much will the debate move the head-to-head polls between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama? Actually, the instant-reaction polls may not be very much help in answering that question. The relationship between the quick-reaction polls and their eventual effect on the horse-race polls has historically been very modest, and has sometimes even run in the opposite direction of what the initial polls suggested."

The morning after the debate, has your opinion changed? Did the debate sway your vote? Comment here and vote in our poll.

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Who won the Hofstra presidential debate?

Barack Obama Mitt Romney It was a tie

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