A new Pew poll of registered voters shows that independent voters who tuned into the vice presidential debate last Thursday preferred Paul Ryan to Joe Biden by an 11-point margin:
Six-in-ten voters say they watched at least a little of last Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan at Centre College in Danville, KY. Among debate watchers, as many say Biden did the better job (47%) as say Ryan (46%)....
Republican voters overwhelmingly say Ryan did the better job in the debate (88%); a comparable percentage of Democrats (89%) say Biden did the better job. Among independents, 50% say Ryan did better, 39% say Biden.
The Pew poll's finding of a tie at the VP debate is consistent with other surveys: A CNN flash poll the night of the debate showed Ryan beating Biden 48 percent to 44 percent among registered voters, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Biden beating Ryan 42 percent to 35 percent among registered voters.
A few conservatives who have watched Ryan wipe the floor with Obama seem to have been a little disappointed he didn't score an overwhelming victory against Biden last Thursday night. But given the circumstances, it's hard to see what Ryan could have done to trounce Biden. Ryan tends to speak in paragraphs, not soundbites, and Biden's constant interruptions made it difficult for viewers to follow all of Ryan's points. And the moderator, a foreign correspondent for ABC News, did not to ask a single question specifically about the debt or Obamacare (Ryan's strongest issues). Despite these challenges, Ryan still won the debate in the minds of independent voters, according to Pew.