Biden had the edge in VP debate: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:54pm EDT

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan shake hands at the conclusion of the vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Pool

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan shake hands at the conclusion of the vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky October 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pool

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(Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden came out on top of Thursday night's vice presidential debate with Republican challenger Paul Ryan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The energetic Biden claimed a seven-point victory - 42 percent to 35 percent - among registered voters, with a similar margin among independents. Nearly a quarter of registered voters and about a third of independents were unsure who did a better job during the debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky (

Democrats will be hoping Biden's performance helps President Barack Obama recover from a week-long slide in the polls after his poor showing against Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate on October 3. Thursday's Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll showed Romney leading Obama 47 percent to 44 percent nationwide.

Biden, 69, interrupted Ryan, 42, on multiple occasions and spent much of the debate grinning when his opponent spoke, leading some conservative commentators to accuse Biden of being rude. But while both sides claimed victory, neither Biden's nor Ryan's favorability numbers changed considerably over the course of the debate, and Biden maintained his lead in this measure. After the debate, 54 percent of registered voters held a favorable opinion of Biden, compared to 50 percent for Ryan.

Nearly half of independents said Biden had not changed their view of him, and close to three quarters said the same for Ryan. But this was not true of all independents.

Independents did grow more favorable toward Ryan and less favorable toward Biden during the debate, but the small sample size of independents makes it difficult to draw conclusions.

Voters said Biden was more qualified to be president, as the vice president moved from 43 to 45 percent on that question over the course of the debate, and Ryan stayed at 35 percent. The Wisconsin congressman's presence on the Romney ticket may also cause trouble for the Republican Party: 27 percent of registered voters said Ryan made them less favorable toward Romney, up from 21 percent before the debate.

The online poll surveyed 629 registered voters after the debate. The credibility interval was 3.1 percentage points for polling before the debate and 4.5 percent after the debate.

(This version of the story corrects the percentage for Ryan in paragraph two to 35 from 37, credibilty interval.)

(Editing by Claudia Parsons)

To see the Reuters/Ipsos American Mosaic Polling Explorer, click here:

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Comments (7)
rsf145 wrote:
Maybe just maybe the POTUS should have attended ALL the intel meetings instead of 37% of them. Maybe the terriost attack on Libya could have been diverted.

I would love to see this person do his job but no – he NEEDS to go on a talk show at least once a week to get his drug of choice; APPLAUSE!

Oct 12, 2012 9:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nikacat wrote:
Watching the vice presidential debate simply confirmed in my mind that Biden is a rude, overly aggressive jerk. Actually, Biden was given a lot of help by the debate monitor who is an Obama friend and supporter. This in itself made the debate a travesty and shows how far Obama and company will go in order to stack the deck against any challenger. Now I’m really wondering about the repeated rumors that the democrats will register illegals and the deceased.

Oct 13, 2012 2:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
KDupre wrote:
Biden was so rude and disgusting the moderator should have told him to shut up until it was his turn to speak and if he refused to comply, the debate would be over with Ryan declared the winner.

Oct 13, 2012 10:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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