Leading Democratic pollster and public opinion analyst Stanley Greenberg, Co-founder of Democracy Corps, has made available the following analysis of the early data from last night’s debate.
The only national representative panel survey shows Edwards with a slight edge in the vice-presidential debate among key swing groups in the electorate, though overall Cheney had a slight edge of 40 to 37 percent on who won the debate. Where it matters, Edwards had the edge.
o Among independents, Edwards by 37 to 34 percent.
o Among undecided voters (with only 60 cases), Edwards won by 43 to 25 percent.
o Among battleground states, Edwards had 40 to 38 percent advantage.
That is probably why the presidential race remained tied before and after the debate, though Kerry’s vote rose from 47 to 49 percent.
The debate produced a yawning gender gap, with Cheney winning by 16 points among men (47 to 31 percent) and Edwards winning women by 9 points (43 to 34 percent) — a 25-point gender gap.
Fully 1,000 respondents watched the debate, and completed pre- and post-surveys. Data was collected by Knowledge Networks, a survey research firm that maintains the only nationally representative web-based survey platform.
The other national survey conducted tonight by ABC News had Cheney with an 8-point advantage, but note that the survey gave the Republicans a 7-point advantage in party identification. (They did not report the presidential vote.) That is consistent with a stable race and a likely tie in the debate.