Nate Silver reviews the post debate polls, which show President Obama as the narrow winner, a result that more or less accords with my view:
Scientific polls conducted after Tuesday night’s presidential debate in New York give a modest edge to President Obama.
A CBS News/Knowledge networks poll of undecided voters who watched the debate found 37 percent giving an advantage to Mr. Obama, 30 percent favoring Mitt Romney and 33 percent calling the debate a tie. That represents a narrower lead for Mr. Obama than Mr. Romney had after the first debate in Denver, when a similar poll gave Mr. Romney a 46-22 edge.
A CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate — not just undecided voters, as in the CBS News survey — also gave the debate to Mr. Obama by a seven-point margin, 46 percent to 39 percent. Mr. Romney had won by a much larger margin, 67 percent to 25 percent, in CNN’s poll after the first debate.
Mr. Obama may have benefited in the CNN poll from diminished expectations: 73 percent of voters in the poll said he performed better than they expected, against just 10 percent who said he did worse.
Two other polls gave Mr. Obama a somewhat clearer advantage. A Battleground poll of likely voters in swing states who watched the debate had him winning 53-38.
An online poll by Google Consumer Surveys gave Mr. Obama a 48 percent to 31 percent edge among registered voters.
There were also two scientific surveys about the debate conducted among voters in particular states.
A Public Policy Polling survey of Colorado voters who watched the debate found 48 percent declaring Mr. Obama the winner, and 44 percent for Mr. Romney. Mr. Obama’s advantage was clearer in the poll among independent voters, who gave him a 58-36 edge. However, the candidates were roughly tied when Public Policy Polling asked them how the debate swayed their vote, with 37 percent saying the debate made them more likely to vote for Mr. Obama, with 36 percent for Mr. Romney.
By the way, Nate Silver at 538 has been taking unmerited grief from some in the the right-leaning blogosphere this year. Silver’s comments on his models have been mostly fair and very detailed. His models might be under-estimating Romney’s chances a bit right now, but Silver should be doing exactly what he is doing: following the estimates that his models generate. No models are perfect, but his are probably better than anyone else’s.