HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) - A majority of debate watchers thought that Barack Obama won the third and final presidential debate, according to a national poll conducted at the end of the debate.
Fifty-eight percent of debate watchers questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said Obama did the best job in the debate, with 31 percent saying John McCain performed best.
The poll also suggested that debate watchers' favorable opinion of Obama rose during the debate, from 63 percent at the start of the debate to 66 percent at the end of the debate. The poll indicates that McCain's favorables dropped, from 51 percent to 49 percent.
What this means for the remaining 20 days of this campaign is that a "compelling case for Obama" is materializing. Very much like the Clinton primary contest, these last days will test the ability of Obama to "close the deal." The difference is that all the electoral map polls are estimates. It will all come down to one game of chance on November 4th.
John McCain is now in the position of having to change voter decisions who have made up their minds to vote for Obama. My experience suggests that those Obama supporters who have made a deision at this time won't be easily swayed by the McCain proposals. Victory seems more a possibility than ever before.
The job will not be complete until the last vote is counted.
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