Total Pageviews

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Voters in Three Swing States Predict Ryan Will Win Debate


More voters in three swing states said they expected Representative Paul D. Ryan would win tonight's debate against Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to the latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Mr. Biden will be facing off against a very different opponent this time around. In 2008, his sparring partner was Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, somewhat of a rookie to the national political scene. But Mr. Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate and the House Budget Committee chairman, is no neophyte when it comes to national policy or politics.

Nearly half of likely voters in Colorado and Wisconsin said they expected Mr. Ryan to beat the vice p resident, and voters in Virginia gave Mr. Ryan a slight edge over Mr. Biden, 41 percent to 36 percent.

Anticipation for the debate is high, with more than 8 in 10 voters in each state saying they plan on watching or listening to the vice-presidential debate. The first presidential debate garnered more than 70 million viewers last Wednesday night.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Ryan has stronger favorability ratings than Mr. Biden among voters in his home state of Wisconsin - 46 to 36 percent. In Virginia, the vice-president's favorability is slightly higher than Mr. Ryan's, 43 to 38 percent, while In Colorado, the men have similar favorability ratings.

About 4 in 10 likely voters in all three states said that Mr. Biden was qualified to serve as president, if it becomes necessary. In Colorado, 4 in 10 said he was not qualified, while about a third in Virginia and Wisconsin said he was not qualified.

Nearly half of voters in Wisconsin said Mr. Ryan was qualified to become president if necessary, while just a third in Virginia, and about 4 in 10 in Colorado said so. Nearly 3 in 10 likely voters in each state said Mr. Ryan was not qualified to step into the presidency.

In all three states, women viewed Mr. Ryan less favorably than men. Despite that, in Colorado and Wisconsin, more women said Mr. Ryan would win the debate, while in Virginia, women were divided over who would emerge the winner.

Whatever the outcome of tonight's debate, it will likely have little effect on the overall presidential race. A new analysis by Gallup shows that none of the last eight vice-presidential debates influenced voter preferences in a significant way.