WASHINGTON -- An hour into the debate, a survey of more than 300 debate watchers from across the political spectrum finds that Vice President Joe Biden is handily beating Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent.
The survey, conducted for HuffPost by OverTheShoulder.com, is dubbed a "Smartphone Town Hall" and draws on a sample of more than 300 voters. The members of the panel are watching the debate live and answering questions sent to their phones.
Clarification: Although participants for the survey were recruited from around the country, the survey was not a random sample, nor should it be considered representative of the U.S. population or debate watchers.
Roughly the first 20 minutes of the debate focused on foreign policy and national security, a comfort zone for Biden and something Ryan has spent little time on. Still, the Obama campaign has been on its heels since a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killed the U.S. ambassador there. The debate then moved to domestic policy, and Biden immediately lit into Ryan over Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent comments.
Biden has spent the night on the offensive, smiling and laughing as Ryan answers, sometimes fact-checking him before he finishes his sentence.
Thirty minutes into last week's debate, a similar panel was reporting that Romney was pulling ahead -- with nearly one-third of likely Obama voters giving the nod to Romney, a clear sign that things were headed in the GOP presidential nominee's direction. By the end of the debate, before listening to any post-debate spin, the panel decided that Romney had won by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, with nearly half of Obama backers giving it to Romney.
Over The Shoulder generally focuses on large, instant focus groups for corporate clients.
A separate panel of several hundred HuffPost readers is also watching the debate live and responding to questions. Those results will be available after the debate.
UPDATE: 11:33 p.m. -- Polling conducted immediately after the debate showed mixed results. A CNN poll found that viewers thought Ryan edged Biden in the debate 48 percent to 44 percent. A CBS snap poll of uncommitted voters found that half thought Biden won, 31 percent thought Ryan won, and 19 percent thought the debate was a tie.
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