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Majority of Americans regard Clinton as winner of 1st presidential debate: poll

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-02 15:37

Majority of Americans regard Clinton as winner of 1st presidential debate: poll

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton (Right) and Republican candidate Donald Trump attend the first presidential debate in New York on Sept 26, 2016.

A major of Americans, or 61 percent, say Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the first presidential debate on Monday, found a new Gallup poll.

Only 27 percent of Americans think that Republican candidate Donald Trump was the winner at the Monday debate held at the Hofstra University in New York state, found the Sept. 27-28 Gallup poll.

Clinton's 34-point lead is on par with her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who won the debate over Republican rival Bob Dole in 1996.

Additionally, 59 percent of independent voters think Clinton prevailed in the debate, the poll showed.

Along the partisan line, 92 percent of Democrats think Clinton won the debate, while 53 percent Republicans believe Trump was the winner.

In term of perceptions of the candidates' qualities exhibited at the first debate, 62 percent said Clinton "had a good understanding of the issues", while 26 percent said the same about Trump.

A majority, or 59 percent, say Clinton "appeared presidential" while 27 percent say so about Trump. Meanwhile, 55 percent say Clinton was "more likable," while 36 percent say the same about Trump.

Clinton's confidence in detailing one policy plan after another likely contributed to viewer perceptions that she had a good command of the issues and was more "presidential," Gallup said.

However, debate performances do not always line up with election outcomes, and a poor showing in the debate doesn't mean a candidate can't come back and win the next one, Gallup noted.

A best example was the first presidential debate held on Oct 3, 2012 between President Barack Obama, who sought reelection, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who was widely believed to win the debate but lost the election in the end.

In 2004, George W. Bush even won the presidency in 2004 after losing all three presidential debates against Democratic rival John Kerry.

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