A number of polls are suggesting that the US presidential race will be decided on the debate stage.
In one survey, Fox News’ PollingReport.com found that two-thirds of Americans think the debate is important, while a CNN/ORC poll found that only 42% of respondents thought the debate should be decided by a two-person, one-time, one vote.
But CNN’s debate ratings data suggests that Americans are more likely to care about the debate when it is over.
The debate ratings show that on average, voters will watch the debate more than twice as often if it is between Republican candidates, according to a CNN poll released on Wednesday.
The poll, conducted from December 6-8, found that Americans watched the debate about a third as often as they did the debate between Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate Donald Trump, and the same number watched the debates between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Ted Cruz.
Overall, the debate was viewed by about two-and-a-half times more Americans on average than the debate held between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, according a CNN analysis of the data.
In total, CNN reported, viewers watched an average of about 14.7 million hours of coverage from December 7-8.
In all, CNN said that more than 1.3 million hours were devoted to the two candidates, including 590,000 hours devoted to Sanders and 380,000 to Trump.
While the debate has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the overall presidential race, it is clear that the debate ratings are only part of the story.
CNN has reported that the campaign is losing ground in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where the Trump campaign has lost nearly half of its viewers.CNN also reported that in Florida, the Trump and Clinton campaigns are losing ground, while the Trump team is holding onto its ground.CNN’s data also shows that Trump’s campaign is down in the South, which was largely responsible for his win in the state last year.
In fact, Trump is down by more than 8% in South Carolina, which is home to the state’s Democratic Sen. Lindsey Graham.CNN said that the Trump-Clinton debate ratings will not be enough to overcome the fact that the candidates are competing in a state that is already competitive.
CNN’s data showed that the presidential race in South Dakota is competitive, with Clinton leading Trump by 8.6% to 4.7%.CNN’s survey, which asked 2,004 registered voters whether they would watch the debates, showed that Clinton and Trump both lead by 8 points in South Dakotans, with Trump winning by 11 points there.
Clinton leads Trump by 14 points in Ohio, with the two vying for the support of 42% voters.
Trump leads Clinton by 19 points in Georgia, with a 17-point advantage in Florida.
The CNN/WMUR poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%, found that the race in Pennsylvania has become a toss-up, with Hillary Clinton leading by 5 points there and Trump leading by 6.8 points there, with Ohio and Pennsylvania still close races.
In the battleground states, CNN’s analysis shows that Clinton leads Trump in Virginia by 5.8 percentage points, while she leads by 11.6 points in Pennsylvania and by 8 in Florida and Georgia.CNN reported that Clinton has lost more than a third of the support in Florida to Trump since November 9, and more than half of the votes in Georgia to Trump over the same period.
The candidates also appear to be losing ground against each other in other states, with both of them losing support in North Carolina and South Carolina to Trump and Cruz.
Clinton has lost ground to Trump in Nevada, according.CNN found that voters in Pennsylvania are also turning away from Trump, with more than 80% of registered voters in the Keystone State now saying they are not supporting the Republican.
Clinton and Trump are neck and neck in South Florida, with Rubio losing support to Trump by 2.5 points.
Trump is losing support with Hispanic voters, while Clinton is gaining support in Pennsylvania.CNN reports that more voters are undecided in the presidential election than in the election in general.CNN notes that among those who say they are undecided, Clinton leads by 6 points, with 37% saying they do not plan to vote.