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Donald Trump praises his ‘winning’ first debate performance

Click to play video: 'Trump calls first presidential debate ‘exciting’; claims polls said he won'
Trump calls first presidential debate ‘exciting’; claims polls said he won
WATCH ABOVE: Trump calls first presidential debate 'exciting'; claims polls said he won – Sep 27, 2016

Donald Trump has given himself a pat on the back for coming out ahead as the winner of Monday night’s presidential debate, despite solid consensus among pundits Hillary Clinton won by a landslide.

READ MORE: Promises, blunders from the first presidential debate

“Last night was very exciting and almost every single poll had us winning the debate against crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump said at a rally in Florida Tuesday night.

More than 80 million Americans are estimated to have tuned in for the much-anticipated first debate of the U.S. election. Polls, not surprisingly, showed flip-flipping public opinion on who came out of top, with each nominee respectively taking the lead depending on where you looked.

WATCH: Trump said he called for change during presidential debate, Clinton didn’t
Click to play video: 'Trump said he called for change during presidential debate, Clinton didn’t'
Trump said he called for change during presidential debate, Clinton didn’t

In a CNN poll, Americans who watched the debate sided with Clinton. Sixty-two per cent said she was the winner, while just 27 per cent named Trump. The Washington Post had Clinton at the top of its “winners” list.

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The Atlantic chose Clinton as its winner. Its commentators said she delivered a “commanding performance” while Trump offered too many interruptions.

READ MORE: Who won? Here are what pundits, pollsters are saying

Online polls largely declared Trump the winner, FOX News reports, noting Breitbart, Drudge Report and Time polls.

Tuesday evening Trump provided some insight into his mindset during the debate. The Republican candidate almost alluded to dealing with nerves on the big night.

“I knew I was going into a situation where you were going to have one of the largest audiences in the history of television, and I took a deep breath and I pretended I was talking to my family. Very interesting.”

WATCH: Donald Trump pretended he was talking to his family during presidential debate 
Click to play video: 'Donald Trump said he pretended he was talking to his family during presidential debate'
Donald Trump said he pretended he was talking to his family during presidential debate

Earlier in the day Trump blamed a faulty microphone as well as the debate’s moderator, NBC News anchor Lester Holt, for any perceived weaknesses in his performance.

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But Tuesday evening he took aim at his opponent’s performance, saying Clinton is “stuck in the past” on issue after issue.

“Last night when I debated secretary Clinton on America’s future,” Trump said, pausing as the crowd roared. “For 90 minutes I watched her very carefully, and I was also holding back — I didn’t want to do anything to embarrass her — but I watched her and she was stuck in the past.”

READ MORE: Braggadocious? Donald Trump said it. And the Internet had to look it up

“Hillary Clinton defended the terrible status quo, while I laid out our plan, all of us together, to bring jobs, security and prosperity back to the American people.”

Monday’s debate was the first of three for the presidential nominees; the second will take place on Oct. 9 in St. Louis with Anderson Cooper moderating, and the third on Oct. 18 in Las Vegas with Chris Wallace as moderator.

WATCH: The best moments from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the first presidential debate

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With files from Carmen Chai

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