Nearly a Quarter of Americans Say Presidential Debates Could Sway Their Vote

Almost three-quarters of Americans plan to watch the first debate, a poll shows.

ByABC News
September 11, 2016, 9:10 AM

— -- Nearly a quarter of Americans say the candidates' performances in the upcoming presidential debates may have a major impact on their vote in the November election.

ABC News together with our partners at SSRS survey research firm asked our online opinion panel about the upcoming presidential debates, the first of which takes place in just two weeks.

PHOTO: ABC News SSRS Opinion Poll
ABC News SSRS Opinion Poll

Almost one-fourth of respondents, 23 percent, said they expect the debates between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump to have a major impact on their choice for president.

With the audience expected to be the largest in history, that group could potentially swing a close race.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 74 percent, said they are likely to watch the first debate, which will be held on Monday, Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Asked to name one issue that is most important for the presidential candidates to debate, two topics — the economy and immigration — topped the list of responses.

See full results.

The ABC News/SSRS Poll was conducted using the SSRS Probability Panel. Interviews were conducted online overnight from Sept. 8 and 9, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of 269 respondents age 18 and older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-7.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Design effect is 1.69. The SSRS Probability Panel is a probability-based, online panel of adults recruited from random digit dialed landline and cellphone numbers. For more information, visit

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