President Obama’s performance in the debates improved with each subsequent appearance. He lost the first debate to Mitt Romney by a historic margin, but he was seen as having won both the second and third debate. According to Gallup, Obama is perceived as having won the third debate by a larger margin than he won the second. From Gallup:
Importantly, by a greater than two-to-one margin Independents think Obama won the third debate. Among Independents who watched the debate, 56 percent think Obama did the better job, while only 27 percent think Romney had the better performance.
Unfortunately for Obama the final debate had a much smaller audience than the first two and was on a topic that voters are not focused on this election, so it is less likely to produce much of a bounce.
A strong performance in the final debate, though, seems to have dampened the impact of Romney’s strong first debate. The American people are now split on who they think did a better overall job in all three debates, with 46 percent thinking Romney did the better job and 44 percent thinking Obama performed better.