Overall people think that Hillary Clinton performed well in the debate, but her advantage narrows when it comes to her actual policies
YouGov/HuffPo research on the first presidential debate confirms that Hillary Clinton is widely regarded as the winner, and shows that while her debate performance has slightly helped her, few people's opinions of Trump were improved by his performance. 41% of Americans who have been at least somewhat exposed to the debate say that it improved their opinion of Clinton, while only 29% say their opinion of Trump improved because of the debate. Of people who watched the entire debate, 51% say that their opinion of Clinton improved compared to 30% for Trump.
Going into the debate each campaign had publicized highly different preparation styles, and on at least one measure Hillary Clinton came out on top even among Republicans. 77% of Americans say that Clinton prepared enough for the debate, while only 27% of Americans say the same about Trump. Among Republicans 60% say that Clinton was sufficiently prepared, while 46% think Trump was prepared enough.
Nevertheless, despite the widespread perception that Clinton was better at explaining her policies than Trump (50% to 28%), Clinton has only the smallest of leads when it comes to which candidate's policies people agree with more. Her 4% lead on this question is very similar to her 3% lead over Donald Trump in the latest YouGov/Economist survey, conducted before the debate.