Poll: 17% see debates as very important to how they'll vote

Voters are attaching less significance to the outcome of tonight’s first presidential debate compared to the kick-off debate four years ago.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Likely U.S. Voters say they are likely to watch the presidential debates this year, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That includes 65% who are Very Likely to watch, but that’s down nine points from 74% in September 2008.

Still, just 12% say they are not very or Not At All Likely to watch the debates this year.

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