CNN’s snap poll immediately following the third presidential debate among debate watchers finds President Barack Obama the winner of the debate with 48 percent to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 40 percent. It is important to note these results fall within the poll's +/- 4.5 percent margin of error.
When asked if each respective candidate could handle the responsibilities of commander-in-chief, both candidates came out about equal: Sixty-three percent say Obama can handle these responsibilities, as do 60 percent who say so of Romney.
The Romney campaign strategy appears to have intended to present Romney as likeable rather than strong to ensure he did not come across as hawkish. This is reflected in the CNN polling data: Romney almost pulled even with Obama on likeability 47 percent to Obama’s 48 percent. Fifty-one percent view Obama as the stronger leader compared to 46 percent who thought so of Romney.
Romney contended three times during the debate that, “attacking me is not talking about an agenda for getting more trade and opening up more jobs in this country. This fits with the 68 percent who thought Obama spent more time attacking his opponent compared to 21 percent who felt so of Romney.