I thought Obama “won” and not by a little.
He managed to both (a) soak up more time while (b) looking good doing it. I went back and watched the VP debate and thought that Biden came across as particularly obnoxious. Romney less than Biden, but Obama better than Romney. Romney looked worse trying and failing to get more time than Obama did getting more time.
I believe that conservative complaints about the selection of undecideds are valid. I don’t smell a conspiracy, just that New York was a particularly bad place for this particular debate. Romney agreed to this, however.
Romney flubbed the Libya questioning in more ways than one (and Obama handled himself well). First, he got specific and was wrong on the specifics. Second, for all the grief Crowley is taking, it was apparent that she was trying to say that his criticism was valid but he was busy talking over her and floundering.
Romney gave some good answers, I thought (even if I wasn’t entirely agreeing), but when he did, Obama would give an even better response. That must have been immensely frustrating.
The post-polls show a closer divide than I would have guessed. However, they seemed to skew a bit Republican in the response. CNN had equal amounts of Republican and Democrat and Obama came out +7. The problem is that Republicans and Democrats are not even. But it’s noteworthy, or seems so, if they are among poll-viewers. CBS showed a similar lead with many more saying it was a tie (37/30/33).
What does this mean for the election? Not sure. Before the last debate, I put Obama’s odds at winning at roughly 80% and thought it was the same after the debate, but the polling fallout brought that number down to 60%. After this, I want to move it back up a bit – to 70% – but I’m going to wait a few days before doing that.
I think what it comes down to is… where did the Romney surge come from. Did it come from Romney doing well and establishing credibility (in which case, I don’t think his performance hurt him because he didn’t do poorly)? Did it come from Obama doing poorly (in which case he should get a bounce)? Or was it not actually the debate at all?
For my own part, the debate actually moved my personal vote slightly towards Romney. As did the previous debate. Odds are still better than even that I will be voting for Johnson. Partially because I live in a secured Romney state and so my vote doesn’t matter as it pertains to the outcome. Also, the third debate is still to come and I suspect that Romney will have less to say to my liking in that one.