With Trump and Hillary finally battling it out in the first presidential debate of 2016 on September 26, PR Hacker conducted a post-presidential debate flash poll on behalf of our client, Pollfish.
To conduct the study, we surveyed 1,000 Americans immediately after the debate about each candidate's likability, tone, and message resonance. Overall, Americans agreed that Trump provided more overall entertainment value, while Hillary successfully responded to persistent questions about her health and stamina.
The survey revealed some surprising post-debate perceptions:
Voters agree—Trump is the more entertaining candidate
While Trump and Hillary supporters disagree over who won—69% of Trump supporters believe Trump won, while 95% of Hillary supporters said their candidate was the victor—38% of Americans think Trump is more entertaining to watch, while just 21% of Americans feel the same way about Hillary.
Trump's sniffles had Americans questioning his health
After watching Trump sniffle his way through the September 26 debate, 31% of Americans think Hillary looked healthier than her opponent—compared to 26% who think Trump looked healthier. In light of Hillary's recent health scare, Trump's sniffles may have tipped the scales in his opponent's favor.
Many Americans wouldn't 'have a beer' with either candidate
According to the Pollfish survey, after watching the debate, 38% of Americans would not want to "have a beer" with either Trump or Hillary. Additionally, 53% percent of Americans said they thought Trump talked over Hillary too much during the debate.
The 'most memorable' soundbite goes to Trump
With many memorable one-liners during the September 26 debate, 20% of Americans most remember Trump's quote, "I will release my tax returns—against my lawyer's wishes—when she [Hillary] releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted."
Regardless of who "won" the September 26 debate—according to the Pollfish survey, 54% of Americans think Hillary took home the gold—many Americans have already made their voting decision and have no intention of allowing the debates to persuade them otherwise.