The CNN poll showed men were evenly split, but women gave Obama higher marks 59% to 41% for McCain.
The CNN pollster noted a slight Democratic bias in the survey. Well, there are more Democrats in the country, so more Democrats watched. However, this may also suggest Democratic enthusiasm which will help turn out the vote.
The MSNBC on-line (non-scientific) poll showed Obama winning the debate 52% to 33%. (But this is what one would expect from such a poll at MSNBC because of the nature of its viewers.)
Some free analysis: McCain appeared angry and dismissive of Obama and generally impressed as someone who would slap colleagues across the aisle if reaching over to them. He said several times in the debate that he hasn't won the Miss Congeniality contest in the Senate, and he proved why during the debate.
I suspect that women voters especially would be turned off by McCain's sarcastic tone because women do tend to be the conciliators in our society and saw Obama display those conciliatory qualities very well in the debate. Obama looked at McCain, and McCain wouldn't return the eye contact but rather glared or displayed a tight and angry expression.
I also suspect (but don't have the data to support) that older voters were also turned off by Senator McNasty. I believe older voters will also be reassured that, though McCain has been around longer, Obama has a good grasp of foreign affairs and can learn quickly. He impressed as a statesmen, in marked contrast to McCain's warrior demeanor.
McCain referred to Obama as naive or as not understanding on many issues when the listener probably saw a mere difference of opinion. McCain's condescenion felt annoying; to the listener who might agree or disagree with Obama, Obama nevertheless was making good points, not naive ones.
In general, I think the country is tired of negativity, and McCain's performance didn't give anyone the impression that age has mellowed him. In fact, he seemed rather proud of his continuing bellicose manner. The country seems ready for a change from the "fighting as first choice crowd."
Watch for new polls over the next week. Things can shift for a variety of reasons as people reflect on the debate.