REPUBLICAN Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama, according to a CNN/ORC International poll of registered voters who watched the nationally televised event.
Some 67pc of those surveyed said Romney fared better, compared with 25pc for Obama while 46pc said they found Romney more likeable, compared with 45pc for Obama, CNN reported.
The 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. Obama said Romney's plans favoured the rich at the expense of the middle class.
Obama has held an edge over the former Massachusetts governor in recent polls. The president led Romney, 49pc to 46pc, in a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday, down from 50pc to 45pc in a comparable survey two weeks earlier.
A NPR poll released today gave Obama a seven-point lead, 51pc to 44pc.
The pair will next debate on October 16 at Hofstra University in New York.