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Washington: A major of Americans, or 61%, regard Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as the winner of the first presidential debate, found a new Gallup poll.

Only 27% of Americans think that Republican candidate Donald Trump was the winner at the Monday’s debate held at the Hofstra University in New York state, found the poll taken up from September 27 to 28.

Clinton’s 34-point lead is on par with her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who won the debate over Republican rival Bob Dole in 1996, Xinhua reported.

(Also Read: Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 3 points)

Additionally, 59% of independent voters think Clinton prevailed in the debate, the poll showed.

Along the partisan line, 92% of Democrats think Clinton won the debate, while 53% Republicans believe Trump was the winner.

In term of perceptions of the candidates’ qualities exhibited at the first debate, 62 per cent said Clinton “had a good understanding of the issues,” while 26 per cent said the same about Trump.

A majority, or 59%, said Clinton “appeared presidential” while 27% said so about Trump. Meanwhile, 55% said Clinton was “more likable,” while 36% found this about Trump.

Clinton’s confidence in detailing one policy plan after another likely contributed to viewer perceptions that she had a good command of the issues and was more “presidential,” Gallup said.

However, debate performances do not always line up with election outcomes and a poor showing in the debate does not mean a candidate can’t come back and win the next one, Gallup noted.

A best example was the first presidential debate held on October 3, 2012 between President Barack Obama, who sought re-election and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who was widely believed to win the debate but lost the election in the end.

In 2004, George W Bush even won the presidency in 2004 after losing all three presidential debates against Democratic rival John Kerry.

First Published | 2 October 2016 7:33 AM
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