The Presidential Debates Reinforced Democrats' Support For Clinton

Few Americans say the debates changed their minds.
Democratic U.S presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is shown on TV monitors in the media filing room on the campus of Univers
Democratic U.S presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is shown on TV monitors in the media filing room on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, during the last 2016 U.S. presidential debate in Las Vegas, U.S., October 19, 2016.

Americans say by a 17-point margin that Hillary Clinton won this year’s presidential debates over Donald Trump, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.

Forty-two percent of Americans say Clinton did a better job overall than Trump in the debates, while 25 percent favor Trump. Twenty-two percent say neither candidate won, while 11 percent aren’t sure.

Views were generally split along party lines, although Democrats were more pleased with their nominee than Republicans were with theirs. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats said Clinton did a better job, while just 53 percent of Republicans said the same of Trump.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of HuffPost/YouGov’s survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups: 

Polls conducted after each of the three debates showed Clinton winning by varying margins, giving her relatively high marks for presidential temperament and preparedness.

For most Americans, though, the debates served to reinforce their convictions rather than to shift their opinions. Forty-five percent say the debates strengthened their support for the candidate they were backing already. Just 3 percent say the debates changed their minds, with 8 percent saying the debates weakened their support for the candidate they were backing but not enough to dissuade them. The remaining 43 percent said it hadn’t affected their views at all, or that they weren’t sure.

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats, compared to just 43 percent of Republicans, said the debates had strengthened their opinion of their chosen candidate.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Oct. 21-Oct. 24 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.