Results from the second US Presidential debate

Following the US  Presidential debate last night that was carried on Xbox, I though you’d like to see the following data from the interactive polling that was conducted on Xbox LIVE :

  • More than 100,000 Xbox LIVE community members engaged in the 2nd presidential debate, responding to approximately 70 polling questions in real time.
  • There were well over 2,000,000 individual responses to poll questions.
  • Most poll questions averaged 35,000 to 40,000 respondents per question.
  • Among the approximately 2,000 Xbox Undecided/Swing Voters who weighed in:
  • 51% of undecideds declared Obama the victor, while 17% declared Romney the victor. 32% remained unsure of a winner.
  • Among those who leaned Romney prior to the debate, 19% thought Obama won the debate, compared with 2% of pre-debate Obama leaners who thought Romney won the debate.
  • 28% of undecideds either leaned or decisively supported Obama post-debate. 10% either leaned or decisively supported Romney post-debate.
  • 52% of undecideds declared Obama the most truthful, and 17% declared Romney the most truthful.
  • Among those who leaned Romney prior to the debate, 22% thought Romney was the most truthful, compared with 2% of pre-debate Obama leaners who thought Romney was most truthful.
  • 56% of undecideds thought Obama was specific enough about his plans, while 17% thought Romney was specific enough about his plans.

The final debate will be on October 22nd

98 thoughts on “Results from the second US Presidential debate

  1. Oh Pleeaase, 17% really??? I didn’t watch on xbox live, but i’m assuming Obama was assigned the A button, the most commonly used button on the xbox controller, at least I hope that’s the reason.

    1. I noticed that they never posted the results of the first debate where Obama was soundly beaten by Romney. The Biden/Ryan debate was a tie, so they posted the data, as the audience on here is younger and skews highly Democrat. The same goes for last night, where the debate itself was a virtual tie, barring the absolutely unforgivable moment where Candy Crowley “corrected” Romney, only to later admit that she was wrong.

      We have a result that shows what did not happen. The actual result was basically a tie, but that’s not what Microsoft wants to show. This is noted because they did not post anything about the first debate. I am sure that the Xbox audience gave that one to Obama as well. They couldn’t post the results, as everyone in the world knows that Obama was soundly defeated.

      These polls are pointless and should not be posted.

      1. “unforgivable moment where Candy Crowley ‘corrected’ Romney, only to later admit that she was wrong”?

        It is unforgivable for a journalist to correct him then? Journalists should have waited until after the debate to correct it? Why is a journalist even moderating then? She and the VP moderator did a pretty good job I thought. The first moderator was more there than Obama, but barely.

        And she was wrong? That is just spin on it… semantics really. Pres. Obama implied it was an act of terrorism by saying “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation…” instead of saying explicitly “it was an act of terror”. Romney had other paths to go on the subject, but he just picked the path that he was wrong in.
        The “tie” is also debatable… very very debatable.

      2. She was the MODERATOR. She was not supposed to be a COMMENTATOR.

        Not only was she a commentator instead of a moderator, she made an incorrect assertion that she later corrected… after the debate was over. This is, in a word, unforgivable.

      3. She wasn’t being a commentator though. She said that Obama was in the Rose Garden the day after and did say that it was an act of terror. Romney asked around, hoping he was right, and he wasn’t.

        She wasn’t commenting on either policies, believes, or anything like that. She just said, he said that, so lets move on to the next question. That last sentence was paraphrased of course.

      4. That is incorrect and, on top of that, it was her job to MODERATE, not to COMMENT. She overstepped her boundaries by a long shot with her COMMENTARY.

        You cannot, without laughing to yourself, say that Obama was saying “day after day” that it was an act of terror. He and everyone from his administration said that it was a protest over a video on YouTube. This went on for two weeks. Please read about the issue before deciding that Obama did something that he did not do. In fact, he didn’t mention terrorism before the UN, instead opting to talk about the video.

        BTW: I am not trying to argue with you… I am just pointing out that Crowley was incorrect and it was also not her job to do what she did. In fact, her moderation contract stated that she was not supposed to pose any follow-up comments or questions at all. I didn’t mind her doing that until she took a side, made an incorrect assertion, and inserted her views into the debate.

      5. Candy Crowley didn’t say that he said “day after day”. She said he was at the Rose Garden on Sept 12 and said it was an act of terrorism. That is true.

        Romney could have went many paths, including what you just said. He didn’t, he picked the path that he had wrong information on. Crowley did a good job moderating, Romney just made a mistake on that and didn’t do as well as republicans wanted, so Crowley is the scapegoat. Just like Biden laughing at Ryan was what the Republicans focused on. I think some democrats said that Obama lost because of the altitude. This is politics, there is spin and scapegoats. Romney screwed up yesterday on that, not Crowley.

      6. The thing is that Obama was speaking in general terms in the rose garden. He never called the killing of our ambassador a terrorist act, but rather spoke about terrorism in broad terms.

        It is still a grey area though, as it could be argued that he talked about terrorism and that it generalizes to the killing of the ambassador. With that said, it is not the job of a moderator to insert him/herself into the debate by doing impromptu “fact checking” even though their comment is an opinion.

      7. The only SPIN here was Obama trying to NOT call it an act of terror while somehow implying it was an act of terror. He tried to have it both ways, and you can’t. I want an honest president, not a spin machine who speaks out of both sides of his mouth just so he doesn’t look wrong later.

    2. That makes sense because the younger audience that would use Xbox to watch the debates. The first debate got Romney back into the game (the president was just not there), but losing the VP and last night’s debate had put them back behind.

      So obviously Romney isn’t at 17% national, and he is an amazing “chameleon”, to put it nicely, with changing views (Massachusetts won’t be supporting him, we unfortunately learned who he was years ago), but polls show he is losing again.

      1. You are not very smart, are you? You do realize that polls MUST have a methodology and understood audience in order to be meaningful, right? If you don’t actually know who you are polling, you don’t have a result that means anything. The poll on Xbox will necessarily include a tremendous number of people who are not voters and are not even allowed to vote. This makes the poll pointless, as I have mentioned before.

        I am still voting for Gary Johnson, so the poll wouldn’t make any difference if it said that Romney won by a 90% margin.

      2. It’s not a professional poll. It’s a means of getting younger voters involved in the process, but clearly, that’s somehow offensive. You are the one who was harping above about some hidden agenda regarding Microsoft.

      3. I was saying that Microsoft has ALWAYS been a left-leaning company and that the results they post are an example of this.

        There is nothing hidden about it… they were part of MSNBC, for the love of some deity or another.

      4. Unfortunately, with Microsoft being left leaning, and Apple being left leaning, I am left without a personal computer company whose politics I can agree with.

      5. I watched the Biden, Ryan debate on Xbox, and was a bit put off by the polling. Don’t get me wrong. I love Microsoft, and their products. But I definitely
        got a sense of liberal bias, even just from how the questions were asked. I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy, but I would say Microsoft if they continue down the path of politics, should hire conservative reporters. Even if it is to match MSNBC. As it is though, they just act like they are neutral, which bugs me. PICK A DAMN SIDE!

      1. Uhhhh… I am a Libertarian and am voting for Gary Johnson. I wouldn’t proclaim it as a victory in any way unless Gary Johnson was in the debate and won.

        I do, however, care about the PROCESS of electing a president, so I watch, read about, and keep up with politics. The Xbox polls are, in point of fact, completely and utterly meaningless. You cannot poll an unknown demographic and then state that the numbers mean anything. If you would study polling or politics you would understand this.

    1. I had a choice from half a dozen channels to watch the debate and I opted to watch it on the Xbox so I could participate. Not sure how that makes me less thoughtful. My vote carries just as much weight as yours will.

      1. Exactly! The Republicans and Democrats are basically the same party. They will both bankrupt the country it is just the the Democrats will do it a bit faster. I have been a registered Libertarian for my entire voting life… I am still waiting for us to win the presidency. This won’t happen, as far too many people are brainwashed by Republicans and Democrats and only think that they have two choices.

      2. But you’re not brainwashed to believe being a Libertarian is the best choice…right? Here’s a tip, you want people to listen to what you have to say and take it into consideration? Don’t be condescending.

      3. I have seen your comments and it is clear that you do not follow your own advice.

        If you know anything about the Libertarian Party, you know that we support some of both conservative and liberal ideas. We are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. There is nothing brainwashed about that.

      4. You have seen my comments, you mean the two I made here? That doesn’t really go against anything I said. And as for the last statement…you might as well just said…”My opinion is right…and any one else’s is brainwashing.”

      5. I saw your comments on the Biden/Ryan debate. You lean to Obama and that’s fine.

        EDIT: I did kinda laugh a bit about the balls comment though.

      6. Wait wait…that’s not the same thing. Especially when you don’t know the context. That guy I made that “balls” statement to…he’s been trolling/stalking me on here. I am not trying to make an argument to him or have a discussion with him. I simply don’t like him and I am not going to mince words with him.

        This is something different. You want people to see things from your point of view…but you’re not really going to get results if you imply off the bat that if someone doesn’t agree with you…they are brainwashed. Implying they are stupid and/or easily manipulated. And that is my point here.

      7. Ahhh… I clearly didn’t have the context. My apologies on that.

        I am not saying that people are stupid if they don’t agree with me at all. I am saying that people have an ingrained idea that the only parties are Republican and Democrat and that the vast majority of people think no farther than that. They were “raised Republican” or “raised Democrat” and never get past that to think of another view. This is shown clearly when voters are asked specific questions about politics; most people cannot answer. People see things in black and white and the two major parties do everything they can to keep fanning the flames of divisive discourse in order to rile up their base of supporters. This is neither conducive to productive political debate, nor is it good for the future of the country. That is, in a nutshell, what I am talking about.

      8. Wow now merely replying to u is considered stalking. Ur all class man. Next time u wanna comment grab the closest 6 year old you can and get him to check ur comment b4 u post.

      9. You explicitly said…TWICE…that you were going to make it a point to reply to any comment I make from now on. And here you are…again. Why are you talking about six year olds? To check my comments? Do I have to remind you that you type like a six year old yourself?

      10. If I were a teacher I would definitely say you fail at everything. You doubt I own a 360? Is that an insult? I can’t tell with you sometimes because you are really bad at insults.

      11. Yes boy lover, it was an insult. It implies that if u don’t have a 360 then u really have nothing to do but leave negative comments on sites u shouldn’t be on. Butt hurt? Really? That’s some pretty bad English right there. By the way, u can call me lex if u like.

      12. Boy lover? This coming from the guy who was talking about some other guy’s balls. You don’t seem to understand how implications work, not a shock there. There was a reason why I put butt hurt in quotes. Again…not a shock you didn’t understand that. Not to mention the fact that isn’t misspelling a word or bad grammar, it’s slang. And why would I call you Lex? Lex Luthor is intelligent, you are an idiot.

      13. Butt hurt is slang? Wow maybe in ur wacky little world it is, where u ask your pupils to stay for detention for no reason at all. But most people aren’t teachers. But then again how can u be a teacher if u have the intellect of a 6 year old?

      14. U love mixing peoples words I’ve noticed to suit only urself (yourself)…. oops. Ur a leech, u need info to be able to give info, a trait usually associated with someone who knows nothing about nothing. Good luck with that boy of copper.

      15. Oh, I forgot to respond to your actual point:

        The majority of Americans vote Republican or Democrat without understanding or thinking about any other viewpoint. BOTH the Republicans and Democrats are too radical to effectively represent all of America. The Libertarian Party is a solid mixture of liberal and conservative.

      16. Actually, depending on what state you live in, his vote might carry WAY more weight than yours, thanks to our outdated, terrible electoral system.

      1. Odd. Everyone in the media said that Romney won the first debate by a long shot, so how would the results be the same unless the methodology was fatally flawed and the results were meaningless?

        I wish that Microsoft would have published the first results, as it would have been the right thing to do if they are going to post the others.

      2. Because the decided voters may watch the debate, but will not be swayed by the debate. If you look at the VP and last night’s debate, Romney supporters will not change their vote because of those debates.

        Debates are more for the undecided and the candidates have to really say something stupid to loss support of a decided. Romney won the first debate (I think Obama was there… at least physically), but decided voters wouldn’t jump ship because of it just as Romney supporters aren’t jumping ship because of last night or the VP debate.

      3. The results of these polls are not surprising. The Xbox draws a large number of younger people and young people tend to be more liberal. I’m not surprised, at all, when the results show 2/3 Obama and 1/3 Romney. These polls don’t represent the views of ALL voters. As these young people grow older, many of them will gain experience and understanding of conservative principles. Unfortunately, it can take many years before some of them wise up. And some, never do. 🙂

      4. Because the xbox community is a very specific audience and doesn’t represent the population in general. You need to remember the source when considering all information.

      5. The Xbox audience is specific in that the audience are known video game players with internet connections, but there is no known breakdown of the demographic. This renders the poll meaningless, as the results do not generalize to anything or any specific voting block. You need to know how many Republicans, Democrats, third-party voters, registered voters, likely voters, etc. are included in the poll in order to come to any valid conclusion.

  2. Enjoyed participating, but had to stop half way through and wished there was a way to pause and keep watching later even if I lose the chance to then participate in the voting. Instead I had to DVR it elsewhere to pick up where I left off.

  3. These aren’t official polls. It only reached about 100,000 people of which is a very specific demographic. I don’t think Microsoft intends for these results to sways anyone’s opinion or be representative of the presidential election in any way. The chosen statistics may seem biased as most of them favor Obama. However, I can assure you that this post will have a negligible (if any) impact on the presidential election.

    1. Note: that 100,000 people is a lot more then what most of the polls you seen in newspapers, televisions, and radios. Though those polls do try to ‘balance’ to specific types of users based on prior election data.

    2. 100,000 is much better than the 750 ABC polled right after the debate, or the 75 on the current CNN poll.
      And what specific demographic? perhaps you could consider the Xbox audience younger than others (though I am 46), but otherwise I would assume a mix of men, women, republicans, democrats and from other comments here libertarians.
      Sounds to me like this Xbox poll could be one of the most diverse and widest ranging poll there is.

      1. There is still the chance of a sampling error. I don’t know, but you maybe an outlier in the demographics. It is really hard to tell without specifics on age, gender, regular political party (ie which party does the person regularly/normally vote for), income/socioeconomic status, and location.

        The location is pretty important because, as I am sure you are aware of, although normally the popular vote and the electoral college normally align… it does not always (Al Gore won popular vote, G.W. Bush won the electoral college).

        On a side note, it will be interesting to see if both parties hit the 269 number. I doubt it would happen and hope it doesn’t, but it would be an interesting thing to see.

      2. Dead on.

        There is a complete certainty of a sampling error, in fact… well, a methodology error. What you have said is exactly correct. There is no way to tell who is being polled, therefore the results cannot be interpreted in any meaningful way.

        You are someone that people should listen to, BostonSup, as you actually understand this instead of just making comments. It doesn’t matter which side you prefer as long as you understand the underlying process.

        BTW: I don’t think that they will match up in electoral votes… that would be a complete mess! 😀

      3. Everyone answering the poll has an xbox (or access to one) and would rather watch the debate via the xbox than other means, which immediately differentiates the audience.
        They are likely to be gamers and younger on average. They’re also more likely to have a slightly higher income level (or live with a family of middle or higher income) and if they’re watching via streaming (and not via television) then they’re likely to have a decent internet connection which probably means city or close to city.

        While the numbers are good (high) it just means that the polls represent the online US xbox community well, not that it represents the general US population well.

  4. I posted the below in the xbox forums and then found this page. I’m repeating my comment here

    I don’t know who to contact about this, so posting here

    I’ve noticed that for the polls during the debates most of the time
    the answer that receives the most votes is always the first or ‘default’
    option. Occasionally I have seen some other responses receive the most
    votes, but it is very rare. I have also noticed that almost all of the
    questions I have seen have Obama or a response favorable to Obama as the
    first choice. I’ve always joined the debates so far late, so it’s
    possible it isn’t always the case but all of what I’ve seen has been
    this way, so it’s very suggestive that all of them are. I’m wondering if
    the high results of polls favorable to Obama that differ very strongly
    from Polls outside of xbox is because there is a demographic bias in the
    people who use Live and that actually want these results or if there is
    a ‘position bias’ in the response because users are just pressing a
    button to quickly answer the poll and/or get rid of it.

    It seems to me that to be sure the polls are both fair and accurately
    represent opinions and don’t just reflect ‘twitch’ responses that the
    poll questions need to be structured to eliminate or minimize position
    bias. Given that there is only one debate left I would like to ask that
    one of these things happen for that next debate:

    a) for one debate have a Romney favorable answer as the first
    response. This would not eliminate position bias if it is occuring but
    the only way I can think of to test if position bias is indeed occurring
    in the results is to deliberately flip the response positions and see
    if things remain the same as they were before or if most of the results
    suddenly go the other way.

    b) have a neutral answer as the first option and randomly select the
    Obama or Romney responses for the the other possible answers. This
    might still show position bias if suddenly people don’t know what they

    c) switch back and forth. One question has obama in the first answer, the next has Romney

    d) randomize the position of the answers for every question.


    in regards to the above comments, is there any data as to the questions asked in the polls, the answers as presented to the users and the actual responses? Knowing these would be useful in evaluating the ‘validity’ of the poll.

  5. I was trying to find a place to report this to Xbox support last night, but their contact options are quite awful. Anyway, the way these XBL polls are done is statistically unsound (not that they’re very serious anyway). But the fact that Obama is always the first option means that anyone who is just tapping A at the question will vote Obama. It should be randomized.

    1. I agree. My other problem is the answers themselves. One of the questions was “What’s the best way for the government to help create jobs?” I think it is a great question. The possible answers were: Cut Taxes, Increase Spending, and I Don’t Know. Really? Really? Those are your possibilities? What about none of the 3?

      1. I liked the question “Should there be equal pay for equal work” and there was about 10-15% that replied “no”. Wow. And “Yes” was the first answer… that made me think how many people just hitting random answers no matter what order they were in.

  6. I also found it laughable the way these were done with “A” always being Obama. Not a very sound way of doing it. But truth is, the numbers here are insignificant when dealing with the whole picture, but it is funny how these things are so easily “influenced” by the simple placement of the answers. And the questions weren’t that great either. But then, I didn’t hear either of them say they were going to cut back the adds and blocks on the dashboard so I can see my friggin’ wallpaper that I payed money for but can’t see due to the ADS!!!!! GRRRR!!!

  7. what you are all forgetting is that kids make up most of the xbox owners so there not going to have hard Q/A in the polls. The polls did keep my kid’s watching the debate and thats a good thing.

    1. Actually the average age of Xbox 360 owners is in the age range of 35-44, according to a study released by the Experian Group, especially with it now being more of a home entertainment console than just a gaming console. And yes I believe it’s safe to say that the viewing audience for these particular debates was skewed more toward a younger crowd once Microsoft added the offer of free Halo armor for watching all the debates. However, unlike some of the commenters here, I don’t think that was some kind of evil conspiracy by Microsoft just to create Obama-supporting poll results so much as it was an effort on their part to get more younger people interested in the election process by watching the debates.

      1. Agree.. this isn’t a conspiracy to do anything. This is MS taking part in something that its community finds important (and maybe making some advertising money on the side). At the end of the day the poll is very specific to a certain group of the population and won’t sway the populace at large.
        On the plus side it’s getting younger people to realise that maybe the elections are something important that they should at least pay attention to (even if they don’t vote).

  8. I was going to log in and see if you guys were offering this but didn’t see you post about it so figured it wasn’t available. Guess I’ve learned to depend on your posts too much 🙂 This is really interesting, thanks for presenting it. Hope to catch the next one!

  9. Where are the actual results? They didn’t provide the breakdown of results as with the other polls. It seems that they could very well have simply said that Romney won because they KNOW that he won, and then hidden the data that shows that their poll was entirely in opposition.

    We won’t ever know, as Microsoft won’t release the data.

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