Speed Reads

Sept. 26 Debate

Donald Trump is bragging about post-debate online polls. This is probably why.

In the spin room after his debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump told several reporters that all the online polls say he won the debate. He did not mention the professional snap poll conducted by CNN that showed Clinton winning the debate, 62 percent to 27 percent, and if that poll should be viewed with the caveat that it skewed slightly Democratic, the online polls should be taken with a Trump-sized grain of salt. First, the Trump-friendly headline aggregator Drudge Report which has its own online poll (spoiler: Trump is winning handily) and doesn't mention CNN's poll — directs its readers to two online polls, where Trump is winning by smaller margins. Trump also has the help of an informal army of online supporters at Reddit who are directing one another to all online polls they can find.

Every campaign wants to claim victory as soon as possible after a debate, with the hopes that the public will buy into that claim — Clinton's team also declared the night a win for Hillary. Still, if you're on the fence about who actually "won" the first debate, you could do worse that watching GOP pollster Frank Luntz's focus group of undecided voters for CBS News. The group, in Philadelphia, broke for Clinton 16 to 5, a "bigger [margin] than almost any debate I've done in a long time," Luntz said. "This is a good night for Hillary Clinton, it is not a good night for Donald Trump," he concluded, "but there is still time and there are still undecided voters." And, he didn't have to add, two more debates. Peter Weber