A new Rasmussen Reports poll came out today, asking questions about tonight’s debate, ranging from who will perform better to how important the debate is in deciding who to vote for. The poll was conducted of 1,000 voters and has a Margin of Error of +/- 3%:
1* How likely are you to watch the Vice-Presidential debate on Thursday night?
74% Very likely
16% Somewhat likely
7% Not very likely
2% Not at all likely
1% Not sure
That seems a little bit higher than usual. In fact, there are more voters likely to watch tonight’s debate than last Friday’s Presidential debate (according to a previous Rasmussen poll).
2* Who is the more skilled debater….Sarah Palin or Joe Biden?
18% Sarah Palin
54% Joe Biden
27% Not sure
Well, this is CLEARLY Joe Biden’s debate to lose. I hate it when people say, “It was a tie, so Obama won” (because they argued that a tie helped Obama more than McCain), but a tie here will be good for Palin (although a tie, is still a tie. If they tie, I won’t say Palin won, I’ll say they tied, and then get mad at anybody who tries to argue that since they tied, Palin is the real winner). But Palin is going into this with people expecting her to lose. Generally that’s good for her, unless she just does terrible, in which case it’ll still hurt some (although not as much, since people aren’t expecting something great out of her tonight).
3* Regardless of who is the more skilled debater, which candidate is most likely to help their campaign…Sarah Palin or Joe Biden?
43% Sarah Palin
45% Joe Biden
12% Not sure
Interesting. I’ve gotta say that the response to this question stumped me. Perhaps it’s people saying that if Palin just simply holds her own and ties, she’ll help McCain. I really have a hard time analyzing this one after seeing the results of question 2.
4* In terms of how you will vote how important is the performance of the Vice Presidential candidates in the debate?
34% Very important
38% Somewhat important
22% Not very important
6% Not at all important
1% Not sure
AND THAT’S THE QUESTION WE’VE BEEN WAITING TO SEE! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything on how this relates to previous elections, but it seemed a bit higher than it normally would be, at least to me. Essentially a third of likely voters have a decent chance of either making up their minds tonight, or even switching candidates. It’ll be interesting to see the polls after tonight’s debate.
5* Suppose you had a choice between Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden in the Presidential election. For whom would you vote?
11% Not sure
And this is just the standard poll question. It’s interesting to compare this to question 3 and note that some Biden supporters are most likely saying that Palin will help her ticket more tonight, even though they’re expecting her to perform worse / not as well as Biden.
And here are some details by gender groups:
Men, for example, in a hypothetical presidential match-up support Palin over Biden 47% to 42%. Women, by contrast, favor the Democrat 57% to 33%.
Women think Biden will help his ticket more by a 51% to 37% margin, but men give the edge on that question to Palin by virtually identical numbers.
In the Presidential race itself, Obama leads by eighteen among women but trails by five among men.
While 66% of men say tonight’s debate will be at least somewhat important to how they will vote, 77% of women feel that way. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of women say Very Important, compared to 28% of men.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of GOP voters think Palin’s debate performance will help McCain, and 71% of Democrats feel Biden will give a boost to Obama. Undecided voters give the nod to Biden 44% to 36%s [sic].
As always, I will be live blogging the debate tonight, so come back here to read all about it.
Tags: 2008 Election, Candidate, Debate, Democrat, Election, General Election, Joe Biden, John McCain, Politics, Poll, Rasmussen, Rasmussen Reports, Republican, Running Mate, Sarah Palin, Vice President, Vice Presidential Candidate