CORRECTED-Biden had the edge in VP debate - Reuters/Ipsos poll

Gabriel Debenedetti

(Corrects percentage for Ryan in paragraph 2 to 35 from 37,

credibilty interval)

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden came out on top

of Thursday night's vice presidential debate with Republican

challenger Paul Ryan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The energetic Biden claimed a seven-point victory - 42

percent to 35 percent - among registered voters, with a similar

margin among independents. Nearly a quarter of registered voters

and about a third of independents were unsure who did a better

job during the debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

Democrats will be hoping Biden's performance helps President

Barack Obama recover from a week-long slide in the polls after

his poor showing against Mitt Romney in the first presidential

debate on Oct. 3. Thursday's Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll showed

Romney leading Obama 47 percent to 44 percent nationwide.

Biden, 69, interrupted Ryan, 42, on multiple occasions and

spent much of the debate grinning when his opponent spoke,

leading some conservative commentators to accuse Biden of being

rude. But while both sides claimed victory, neither Biden's nor

Ryan's favorability numbers changed considerably over the course

of the debate, and Biden maintained his lead in this measure.

After the debate, 54 percent of registered voters held a

favorable opinion of Biden, compared to 50 percent for Ryan.

Nearly half of independents said Biden had not changed their

view of him, and close to three quarters said the same for Ryan.

But this was not true of all independents.

Independents did grow more favorable toward Ryan and less

favorable toward Biden during the debate, but the small sample

size of independents makes it difficult to draw conclusions.

Voters said Biden was more qualified to be president, as the

vice president moved from 43 to 45 percent on that question over

the course of the debate, and Ryan stayed at 35 percent. The

Wisconsin congressman's presence on the Romney ticket may also

cause trouble for the Republican Party: 27 percent of registered

voters said Ryan made them less favorable toward Romney, up from

21 percent before the debate.

The online poll surveyed 629 registered voters after the

debate. The credibility interval was 3.1 percentage points for

polling before the debate and 4.5 percent after the debate.

(Editing by Claudia Parsons)

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