Majority of voters say Biden won second debate, poll finds

Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY
·2 min read

Most registered voters said that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden performed better than President Donald Trump during the second presidential debate, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Friday.

Fifty-four percent of voters who watched the Thursday debate said Biden performed the best, while 39% said that Trump did. Eight percent of voters who watched weren’t sure or had no opinion on who did best.

Both candidates' performances improved with voters since the first presidential debate. In a Sept. 30 POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, only 50% of voters said Biden performed better while 34% of voters said that of Trump.

More: How Biden and Trump compared in the final presidential debate

A much more subdued debate than the first one, Thursday night had fewer interruptions, leaving room for actual policy discussion as well as attacks and retorts from both candidates.

Sixty-five percent of voters said the candidates were mostly respectful of each other's time, as opposed to the 10% that said that of the first presidential debate

Trump interrupted Biden a total of 128 times during the 90-minute September debate, according to Slate, a strategy Trump didn’t continue with during the last debate. However, most registered voters (61% - 21%) still said that Trump was more interruptive than Biden during Thursday's debate.

The debate commission decided to mute microphones during portions of the debate as a way to combat constant interruptions, despite opposition from the Trump campaign.

More: Trump dials it back, Biden defends son Hunter: Takeaways from the final presidential debate

Fifty-seven percent of registered voters strongly or somewhat support phasing out the oil industry overtime and transition to renewable energy, something Biden said he plans to do.

During a back and forth between Biden and Trump on Biden’s position on fracking Thursday, Biden said that he would transition from the oil industry “because it has to be replaced by renewable energy.”

“I’d stop giving to the oil industry – I'd stop giving them federal subsidies. You won’t give federal subsidies to the gas and … solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?” Biden said Thursday.

More: Fact Check: Joe Biden wants to eliminate new fracking permits, not all fracking

Seventy percent of registered voters also said that the country has gotten off on the wrong track while only 30% said the country is going in the right direction.

Among the 1848 registered voters surveyed in this poll, 58% disapprove of the job Trump has done as president, compared to the 40% who approve.

The poll was conducted on Oct. 23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden beat Trump in second presidential debate, majority says in poll