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Romney Won First Debate, 67 Percent of Voters Tell CNN

Republican Candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama following a presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Mitt Romney won tonight’s first presidential debate with President Barack Obama, according to a CNN/ORC International poll of registered voters who watched the nationally televised event.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said Romney fared better, compared with 25 percent for Obama, according to results aired on CNN after the match concluded. Forty-six percent said they found Romney more likeable, compared with 45 percent for Obama, CNN reported.

The CNN poll interviewed 430 Americans by telephone after the debate and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

During the 90-minute debate at the University of Denver in Colorado, Romney tried to paint Obama as a big-government Democrat while Obama said Romney’s plans favored the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Obama has held an edge over the former Massachusetts governor in recent polls of likely voters. The president led Romney, 49 percent to 46 percent, in a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday, down from 50 percent to 45 percent in a comparable survey two weeks earlier.

A NPR poll released today gave Obama a seven-point lead, 51 percent to 44 percent, among likely voters nationally. That survey of 800 likely voters was conducted Sept. 26-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The next debate between the two candidates is scheduled for Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Shepard in Washington at mshepard7@bloomberg.net; Kristin Jensen in Washington at kjensen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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