WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- According to polling data, over the course of the three presidential debates Hillary Clinton steadily improved her standing in voters' eyes in the hard-to-define category of "appearing presidential."
Clinton also improved her numbers in several other categories in Gallup polling done after each of the three debates, including "inspiring" voters, demonstrating an understanding of the issues and likability.
Clinton holds wide leads in all four of those categories but in what many pollsters consider a key indicator of a candidate's success, Clinton improved her standing on the question of who "appeared presidential." After the first debate, which flash polls show Clinton won, voters were asked to pick Clinton or Trump on that question -- and 59 percent said Clinton to 27 percent for Trump.
By the conclusion of the third debate, Clinton had improved that margin to 64 percent, while Trump ticked down slightly to 26 percent.
In all of the categories, Clinton outranked Trump in the Gallup poll, and in each she improved her standing slightly, whereas Trump either remained the same or lost ground as the three debates unfolded.
On the question of likability, Clinton improved from 55 percent after the first debate to 59 percent after the third. Trump went from 36 percent to 31 percent over the three debates.
Despite a slight blip after the second debate, Clinton maintained a large lead on which candidate better understands the issues. She started at 62 percent and ended at 63 percent; Trump held steady at 26 percent.
The question of which candidate was inspiring was the closest of the four, but again Clinton improved slightly while Trump faltered. Clinton was judged the more inspiring candidate by 46 percent after the first debate, but that number climbed to an even 50 percent after the third debate. Trump went from 34 percent to 31 percent.
The polls were each conducted in the two days immediately following the three debates. Each poll carries a margin of error of 5 percentage points.