In the debate after-glow, Americans are now ready for their post-debate cigarette; the latest presidential polling numbers. Tuesday night's debate at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York, was a vicious duel between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The president stood his ground, and emerged as the come-back kid after his consensus lackluster first debate. Romney gave a solid performance, but an effective sneak attack can only happen once. According to a CNN/ORC International Survey, 46% say Obama won the debate while 39% say Romney won. This is a striking difference to the 67% who say Romney won the first debate.
The real question, however, is not how the debate polls look, but how the election polls look. Rasmussen reports released their daily numbers Wednesday morning still saying 49% of voters prefer Romney, while 48% prefer Barack Obama: 2% are still undecided. Last week after the vice presidential debate, Rasmussen reports showed Romney with 48%, Obama with 47% and 3% undecided. Today's numbers don't reflect the impact of the debate yet, and it will take a few days before the effect of Tuesday night can be quantified.
Looking back, heading into the first presidential debate Obama had a two-point advantage, 49% to 47%. His performance that night dropped his numbers below Romney's.
According to Rasmussen the president does have a firmer hold on the electoral votes. Their map puts Obama with 237, Romney with 181, and 120 toss up; 270 are needed to win the presidency.
PolicyMic will be watching the polling numbers as they begin to absorb the effects of the second presidential debate.