When asked who won the debate, 67 percent of respondents said Romney won, and 25 percent voted for incumbent Barack Obama.
According to the CNN/ORC International survey
, only one out of four debate watchers favored Mr. Obama’s performance.
"No presidential candidate has topped 60% in that question since it was first asked in 1984," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Underlining the importance of presidential debates, about half of debate watchers claimed the performances didn't make them more likely to vote for either candidate, while 35 percent said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney and only 18 percent said the policy joust made them more likely to vote to re-elect the president.
More than six in 10 said that president did worse than expected, with one in five saying that Obama performed better than expected.
In comparison, a highly impressive 82 percent said that Romney performed better than expected while only one in 10 felt that the former Massachusetts governor performed worse than expected.
"This poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the debate and by definition cannot be an indication of how the entire American public will react to Wednesday's debate in the coming days," cautions Holland.