(WXYZ) - This year's presidential debates may very well decide who occupies the White House for the next four years.
The political contest between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney goes back-and-forth like two children riding on a school playground see saw.
With two debates now behind them, our exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll gives President Obama a six point lead, 52 percent - 46 percent, over Governor Romney.
Two percent couldn't seem to declare a winner. Overall, it's a three point improvement for Democrat Obama since his first debate against Republican Romney on October 3.
According to the 800 people surveyed in the state of Michigan by EPIC MRA in Lansing, 46 percent believe Obama won the debate compared to 35 percent who are convinced Romney did the best job. Eleven percent call it a tie, and 8 percent aren't sure who won.
WXYZ pollster Bernie Porn, summed up the latest results this way, "Although Romney leads among independent women, President Obama made up some ground with this group of voters in his last debate.
The President also leads among independent men and solidified his base in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties." But Porn quickly noted that Governor Romney's favorability ratings has been increasing with the debates from 52 percent most recently compared to 45 percent in our poll taken earlier this month.
The partisan breakdown for this survey is 42 percent Democrats and 37 percent Republicans. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent and was conducted on October 17, one day after the second debate in New York.
READ THE ENTIRE POLL BELOW:
Thinking about the upcoming November 6 th election for president, if you are very certain you will vote, Press 1 - if you are somewhat certain to vote, Press 3 - if you have already voted by absentee ballot, Press 5 - if you are not likely to vote, Press 7 - and if you are not sure, Press 9.
95% Very certain to vote
3% Somewhat certain to vote
2% Already voted by absentee ballot
In the November 6 th general election for President, if the election were held today, if you would vote for Barack Obama the Democrat, Press 1 - if you would vote for Mitt Romney the Republican, Press 3 – if you are undecided, Press 9.
52% TOTAL VOTE FOR OBAMA
46% TOTAL VOTE FOR ROMNEY
How much of the Presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama did you watch last? If you watched all of the debate, Press 1 – if you watched most of the debate, Press 3 – if you only watched some of the debate, Press 5 – and if you watched none of the debate, Press 9.
55% All of it
16% Most of it
13% Only some of it
15% Watched none of it
Based on your impressions from watching the debate, or seeing, hearing or reading news coverage of the debate, who do you think won the debate? If you think Barack Obama won the debate, Press 1 – if you think Mitt Romney won the debate, Press 3 – if you think it was a tie, Press 5 – if you are not sure who won the debate, Press 9.
46% Barack Obama
35% Mitt Romney
Thinking about your opinion of the candidates for President… If you have a very favorable opinion of Mitt Romney, Press 1 - if you have a somewhat favorable opinion, Press 3 – if you have a somewhat unfavorable opinion, Press 5 – if you have a very unfavorable opinion of Mitt Romney, Press 7 -- and if you are not sure, Press 9.
52% Total Favorable
45% Total Unfavorable
3% Not sure
If you have a very favorable opinion of Barack Obama, Press 1 -- if you have a somewhat favorable opinion, Press 3 – if you have a somewhat unfavorable opinion, Press 5 – if you have a very unfavorable opinion of Barack Obama, Press 7 -- and if you are not sure, Press 9.
53% Total Favorable
45% Total Unfavorable
2% Not sure
How would you best describe your racial or ethnic background? If you are White, Press 1 - if you are African American or Black, Press 3 - if you are some other race or ethnic background, Press 5.
11% African American/Black
6% Other race or ethnic background
How would you describe your party affiliation? If you are a Democrat, Press 1 -- if you mostly vote for Democrats or lean toward Democrats, Press 3 -- if you are a Republican, Press 5 -- if you mostly vote for Republicans or lean toward Republicans, Press 7 -- if you are an Independent and don't vote for one party more than the other, or consider yourself a member of a minor political party, Press 9.
42% Total Democrat
37% Total Republican
21% Independent or minor party