SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — With just 15 days remaining in an impossibly close race for the White House, President Barack Obama sharply challenged Mitt Romney on foreign policy in their final campaign debate Monday night, saying, “every time you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong.” The Republican coolly responded, “Attacking me is not an agenda” for dealing with a dangerous world.

Despite the debate’s stated focus on foreign affairs, time after time the rivals turned the discussion back to the slowly recovering U.S. economy. They found little agreement on that topic either.

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A KPIX-TV CBS 5 poll taken immediately after the debate concluded found independent voters in California were split after this third and final presidential debate. Even after three spirited sessions, the poll showed 5% of Golden State voters remained undecided.

Among all California debate watchers, the poll conducted for CBS 5 by the firm SurveyUSA found:

* 58% said Barack Obama was the clear winner.
* 35% said Mitt Romney was the clear winner.
* 7% said there was no clear winner.

California is a “blue” state, so the SurveyUSA pollsters noted it was not a surprise that Obama would be the winner among all Californians. That is why the pollsters said it was important to examine just what Independent voters felt, since they were the closest thing to “neutral” voters available to interview.

Among California’s Independent voters, the scoring was close enough to be called a draw: 47% of saw Obama as the clear winner, while 44% saw Romney as the clear winner. Democrats by 8-1 margin scored it for Obama, while Republicans by 3-1 margin scored it for Romney.

Of those Californians who had watched all 3 presidential debates, 94% had made up their mind who they will vote for, but 5% said they were still undecided.

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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