By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto, Fred Backus, and Lindsey Boerma
President Obama scored a clear two-to-one victory against Mitt Romney during the final presidential debate Monday night, according to a CBS News instant poll of uncommitted voters.
Immediately after it wrapped, 53 percent of the more than 500 voters polled gave the foreign policy-themed debate to Mr. Obama; 23 percent said Romney won, and 24 percent felt the debate was a tie. Uncommitted voters in similar polls gave the first debate to Romney by a large margin, but said Mr. Obama edged the GOP nominee in the second debate.
Both candidates enjoyed a bump regarding whom the voters trust to handle international crisis. Before the debate, 46 percent said they would trust Romney, and 58 percent said they would trust the president. Those numbers spiked to 49 percent and 71 percent, respectively.
Overwhelmingly, the same group of voters said President Obama would do a better job than Romney on terrorism and national security, 64 percent to 36 percent. But they were evenly split, 50-50, on which candidate would better handle China.
The "uncommitted voters" polled are voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who say they could still change their minds.
This CBS News poll was conducted online using GfK's web-enabled KnowledgePanel, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 521 uncommitted voters who have agreed to watch the debate. Uncommitted voters are those who don't yet know who they will vote for, or who have chosen a candidate but may still change their minds.
GfK's KnowledgePanel participants are initially chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, GfK provides at no cost a laptop and ISP connection.
This is a scientifically representative poll of uncommitted voters' reaction to the presidential debate. The margin of sampling error could be plus or minus 4percentage points for results based on the entire sample.