Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton edged her GOP rival Donald Trump in Monday’s presidential held at Hofstra University before a television audience estimated at 100 million viewers, according to a Breitbart/Gravis “flash poll” conducted minutes after the debate ended.
Pat Caddell, the Democratic pollster and Fox News Insider, told Breitbart News that poll respondents said Clinton performed better at the debate; 48 percent said Clinton did a better job, compared to 43 percent, who said Trump did the better job.
“However, 95 percent of the people we contacted told us they were not going to change their vote based on the debate,” Caddell said.
Two percent of voters, previously undecided, switched to Trump after the debate. No undecideds went to Clinton. One percent switched from Trump to Clinton, and one percent switched from Clinton to Trump.
“Trump won on the most critical factor, on whether Clinton or Trump was more ‘plausible’ as president, 46 percent to her 42 percent,” he said.
“That for him is really what this debate was really about,” he said.
Participants said they thought Clinton had a better grasp of the issues, by 48 percent to his 40 percent.
“What really happened was she won on the issues and he won on plausibility,” Caddell said.
“I was really surprised by this–because it is usually a question that plays well with Democrats–‘Who showed that they care about people like you?’ Trump won that 49 percent to 44 percent for her,” he said.
In other questions, 49 percent said Trump was more honest and 42 percent said Clinton was more honest.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said in the debate Trump showed he would be a strong leader, compared with 44 percent for Clinton.
“With regards to expectations, 26 percent said Trump did better than they expected,” he said.
“Clinton clearly did better than expected with 46 percent telling us that and only 20 percent telling us she did worse,” he said. “The point is that despite that, Trump actually benefited from the debate tonight.”
Nobody knows more about the history of presidential debates or presidential debate polls than he does, he said.
“Trump, as the challenger in this race, has a so-s0 performance against Clinton, but he gained what he needed,” he said.
“Like most debates, this debate did not shift the race. What it did do was show Trump as plausible, as a strong leader and more importantly that he cares about people,” he said. “Trump really helped himself out tonight.”
Caddell said he was very happy with the Brietbart/Gravis sample. “I am proud that we used a serious sample, unlike other outlets that were heavily skewed.”
Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based polling firm that executed the poll, said, “Before the debate, we contacted 3,000 registered voters and 1,700 of them agreed to be part of our poll sample, we did not stop dialing until we reached 890 of them to ensure we had a strong sample.” The poll carries a 3.3 percent margin of error with a 95 percent level of confidence.
The poll was executed with automated phone calls with results weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.