Voters overwhelmingly say Biden defeated Trump in both debates

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Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in polling results every time the two faced off.

At the third and final debate of the presidential campaign Thursday, Donald Trump tried to reclaim groups of voters who have switched their support to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, including voters in key swing states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Older voters and women in particular have increasingly turned to Biden, citing Trump's belligerent antics and mishandling of the pandemic response.

On Thursday, Trump presented a calmer performance than at the first debate, when he repeatedly interrupted Biden. He also boasted about his record battling the coronavirus.

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"I've been congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we've been able to do," Trump claimed. He also declared that the coronavirus was "going away" and promised a vaccine was imminent, despite medical professionals warning that a safe, effective vaccine will not be available until mid-2021 at the earliest.

But despite a more restrained debate performance, snap polls show that viewers continue to favor Biden. A CNN poll found that 53% of voters who watched the debate said that Biden won, while 39% said that Trump did.

YouGov America revealed a similar breakdown, with Biden favored by 54% of viewers and Trump by 35%.

The results have been consistent every time Biden has faced off against Trump. Biden was widely deemed the winner of the first presidential debate. According to the results of an Ipsos/FiveThirtyEight poll conducted in September after the first debate, 59.7% of respondents said Biden's performance was good, while only 32.9% approved of Trump's.

FiveThirtyEight noted: "Only about one-third said Trump's performance was 'somewhat good' or 'very good,' and 50 percent said it was 'very poor.' Biden's performance was more positively received, with around 60 percent saying they thought he performed well. ... Almost 60 percent said they thought his policies were 'somewhat good' or 'very good,' compared to about 40 percent who said the same for Trump."

But it's not only distaste for Trump that's buoyed Biden's chances. In the debate earlier this month between vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, Harris stood out as the clear winner. FiveThirtyEight reported that 69.3% of respondents said they approved of Harris's performance, while 59.5% favored Pence.

Debate polling is not the only metric that suggests voters are increasingly tipping for the Democrats. When Trump and Biden held dueling town halls last week, Biden's event got much higher ratings — even though Trump's event was broadcast on multiple NBC platforms, including MSNBC and CNBC, while Biden's appeared only on ABC. Trump garnered 13.5 million viewers to Biden's 14.1 million.

And in August, a majority of those polled made another viewing preference clear: The Democratic National Convention got higher ratings than the GOP's.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.