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