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Xbox Live polling on presidential candidates shows how the past month's debates might influence voters

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Xbox Live tracks voters

Data gathered through the Xbox Live Election 2012 project has indicated that Governor Mitt Romney had an overall net gain of 1.4 percent of Xbox Live user votes during the U.S. presidential debates this month.

The project, which is a collaboration between Xbox Live and YouGov, aimed to analyze whether candidates won or lost votes based on the presidential debates. Since Sept. 28 Xbox Live and YouGov conducted nearly 400,000 interviews with Xbox Live users where they were asked how they intended to vote at different points in time. The project organizers had the opportunity to interview many of the same people more than once, effectively creating a "panel" that they could track to see how voters' preferences shifted.

The project found that in the wake of the first debate, Governor Romney benefited from a 1.5 percentage point improvement among Xbox users, while President Obama lost roughly half a point. During the vice presidential debate, Romney's improvement continued while Obama recovered some of the ground he had lost. The second and third debates saw further gains for Obama.

Xbox Live and YouGov discovered that "every single week, the number of paneled Xbox Live users who said they were undecided or voting for another candidate declined."

Overall, the project found that Romney improved roughly two percentage points with Xbox Live users whereas Obama now stands roughly 0.6 percentage points ahead of where he started in late September.