Last night’s winner? Obama

But not by much.

An  instant poll by CBS scored it 37% for President Obama, 30% for Gov. Romney and 33% for a tie. These are undecided voters.

An instant poll by CNN also put a seven point margin between Obama and Romney: 46% said the president won to 39% for Romney. These are registered voters.

From the New York Times’ Nate Silver: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. Debates sometimes look different in the rear-view mirror, depending on news media coverage, YouTube and cable news highlights, word of mouth, and subsequent developments on the campaign trail.”

Silver also rounds up some other instant polls that use a variety of scientific and unscientific methodology. They all called it for Obama.

— John Robinson

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