Snap Polls: Clinton Beats Trump in Debate Mired in Personal Insults

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles as she boards her campaign plane at St. Louis. Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, following the second presidential debate.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles as she boards her campaign plane at St. Louis. Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, following the second presidential debate. Credit: Andrew Harnik, AP

A CNN/ORC snap poll of those who watched Sunday's contentious debate found that 57 percent thought Hillary Clinton won the encounter, versus 34 percent for Donald Trump.

According to a post-debate poll by YouGov, the British online polling firm, Clinton bested Trump in her performance, 47% to 42%. Fifty-seven percent also thought Clinton "more presidential," with 31% thinking Trump was. There was a gender gap among YouGov poll respondents, however. By 50% to 38%, women were more likely to think that Clinton outperformed Trump, while among men, 46% thought Trump won the debate, with 43% thinking Clinton did. The poll was based on responses from 812 registered voters who watched the debate.

In Sunday night's debate, a defiant Trump said Clinton would go to jail if he were president and attacked her husband for his treatment of women in a vicious presidential debate less than a month before the U.S. election. 

Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, reacts during the second U.S. presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.Credit: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg

He called her a "devil" who repeatedly lies, someone with tremendous hate in her heart. She called him an abuser of women.

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Their debate, the second of three before the Nov. 8 vote, was remarkable for the brutal nature of the exchanges between Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, and Clinton, his Democratic rival.

Even after the debate, party leaders remained concerned that Trump had not shown enough contrition over the sexually aggressive remarks to win over independents and women voters who could decide the election.

Watch full debate | Read full transcript

He again described the comments as "locker-room talk" and said he had never kissed or groped women without their permission, despite having bragged about doing so on the video which emerged on Friday. 

President Bill Clinton had done worse to women, Trump said in one of several forceful attacks that may reinforce his popularity with his core supporters who detest the Democratic nominee. 

Hillary Clinton responded that Trump's comments showed he was unfit for the White House. 

"He has said the video doesn't represent who he is but I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is," Clinton said.

She accused Trump of dodging a discussion of policy issues to avoid talking about his campaign because of "the way yours is exploding and Republicans are leaving you." 

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