I can't believe these results. I figured if Palin showed up and didn't self-immolate, the "soft bigotry of low expectations" would give her the prize with the voters. But here's a preliminary CBS poll of undecideds:
Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie.
Eighteen percent of previously uncommitted percent say they are now committed to the Obama-Biden ticket. Ten percent say they are now committed to McCain-Palin. Seventy-one percent are still uncommitted.
Both candidates improved their overall image tonight. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they now have a better impression of Biden. Five percent say they have a worse opinion of the Delaware senator, while 42 percent say they debate did not change their opinion.
Fifty-five percent say they now have a better opinion of Palin. Fourteen percent say they have a worse opinion, while 30 percent say their opinion hasn't changed.
After the debate, 66 percent see Palin as knowledgeable about important issues – up from 43 percent before the debate. But Biden still has the advantage on this – 98 percent saw him as knowledgeable after the debate. That figure was 79 percent before the debate.
Two thoughts: either this is completely off the wall, or undecided voters actually saw the same debate I did, and judged it not on the basis of expectations but on the actual issues.
538 is reporting similar numbers from CNN. Stand by.