THE BIG IDEA: The consensus that Donald Trump badly lost the first debate gelled overnight. Liberals predictably panned the GOP nominee’s performance on Long Island, but some of the harshest reviews are coming from conservative thought leaders who had been starting to come around.
-- Instant reaction:
Republican pollster Frank Luntz conducted a focus group of undecided voters in Pennsylvania. Sixteen said Hillary Clinton won. Five picked Trump, per CBS News.
In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters picked Clinton as the winner.
Not one of 29 undecided voters in an Ohio focus group organized by Park Street Strategies thought Trump prevailed, while 11 picked Clinton and the rest said neither. By a two-to-one margin, the group thought Clinton had the better tone and, by a three-to-one margin, they thought she came across as more knowledgeable candidate on the issues.
A CNN/ORC flash poll found that 62 percent said the Democrat won, compared to 27 percent who picked Trump. That’s on par with 2012, when Mitt Romney was seen as the winner of the first debate.
In a separate instant-poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, 51 percent said Clinton won and 40 percent picked Trump.
Eight in 10 insiders in the key battleground states thought Clinton performed better, including 57 percent of Republicans, according to the Politico Caucus survey.