Democracy Corps poll:
    Kerry won the second debate

A pre-post poll shows Kerry the winner.

The conventional wisdom has already declared BK II a draw, and it may be too late (only 24 hours later) for data to change that verdict.

But Democracy Corps did a big (1150) nationally representative sample of debate-watchers who are also likely voters, interviewing them both before and after the debate. (The sample was evenly split by party and Bush had a 4 point edge in self-reported votes in 2000).

In that sample, Kerry was the clear winner.

— The sample thought he won, by a margin of 45-37. Independents gave it to Kerry by 44-33, and undecided voters by 39-30.

— Kerry gained a point to 49% in voting intentions, while Bush lost one to 47%. (Again, this is among debate-watchers only, so it’s not a horserace prediction.)

— Kerry’s favorability/unfavorability goes from -2 to +5 (42-45 becomes 47-42).

— Kerry’s likeability goes from 55-45 to 60-40.

It’s not that Bush got hurt; his favorability improved a little, as did the “right track” number. But Kerry clearly helped himself.

Data here

Democracy Corps press release here.

Hat tip: Ruy Texeira

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com