Forty-six percent of registered voters who tuned in to Tuesday night's town hall debate in Hempstead, N.Y. declared President Barack Obama the winner, according to a snap poll from CNN and ORC International.
The poll shows that 39 percent of voters who watched the second debate said Mitt Romney topped the president. Obama's 7-point edge over Romney is within the poll's margin of error.
Still, that's a big change from the first presidential debate, after which Romney was universally dubbed the winner. Obama's lackluster performance in that debate may have lowered the bar for him this time around: 73 percent of voters surveyed in the CNN/ORC poll said the president did better than expected on Tuesday.
The poll's sample of 457 registered voters was comprised of 33 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Republicans. That means the sample included more Republicans than the average of CNN polls conducted during the 2012 cycle.