SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — At odds early and often, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan squabbled over the economy, taxes, Medicare and more Thursday night in a contentious, interruption-filled debate. “That is a bunch of malarkey,” the vice president retorted during one of the many exchanges with Ryan.
“I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t interrupt each other,” Ryan scolded his rival at another point, referring to Democratic pressure on Biden to make up for President Barack Obama’s listless performance in last week’s debate with Mitt Romney.
A KPIX-TV CBS 5 poll of Californians who watched the debate found independents were split, while moderates saw Biden as the winner. But “vote swtichers” by a 3-2 margin liked Romney-Ryan, the poll showed.
Overall the poll, conducted for CBS 5 by the firm SurveyUSA, found 48% believed Biden clearly won the debate, 41% felt Ryan won and 10% said neither won. In addition, 53% said Biden is ready to be president, if needed, while 46% thought Ryan is ready.
Looking just at the reaction of independent voters, Biden and Ryan battled to an effective draw: 44% Biden, 42% Ryan. Looking just at moderates, Biden was seen as the winner by a 50% to 38% margin.
Among all California debate watchers, 22% said they changed which candidate for president they support as a result of the vice presidential debate. Of those who said they changed their mind:
* 30% switched from the Obama ticket to the Romney ticket.
* 29% switched from undecided to the Romney ticket.
* A total of 59% switched to the Romney ticket.
* 20% switched from the Romney ticket to the Obama ticket.
* 20% switched from undecided to the Obama ticket.
* A total of 40% switched to the Obama ticket.
(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)