As noted at DailyKos and the Huffington Post, Obama was the winner among all the post-debate polls/surveys/focus groups.
I thought McCain did better than the last debate, and he definitely did better on questions about the economy.
But Obama showed he could do well in the town hall meeting, a debate style which many said would favor McCain. McCain has been chomping at the bit over the idea of engaging Obama in this type of format… as they say, be careful what you wish for.
I thought Obama was much less professorial than he has been/could be. On an early question about the bailout, he explained with brevity that unless actions were taken, businesses wouldn’t be able to get loans; and if businesses couldn’t get loans, they might not be able to make their payroll. It was simple and to the point; people could get it (even if they don’t like it).
McCain didn’t wear a flag pin, Obama did. Does that means McCain isn’t patri… oh, forget about it.
I think Obama greatly benefits from the “expectation game.” Many whites don’t know what to make of a black candidate. And he was skewered early on by the McCain campaign as being nothing but a pop tart, comparable to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. But on stage, he is bright, articulate, knowledgeable, and easily a match for the POW/maverick. Obama’s very appearance and demeanor have laid to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars of negative ads from the McCain camp.
Obama mentioned healthcare. That issue is a winner with the American people. But I don’t think there’s any way America can afford an expansive healthcare system. This will be a campaign promise he doesn’t keep.
McCain NEEDED to win this debate, among those outside his base. That didn’t happen. This guarantees that the negative campaigning will go through the roof. McCain’s only hope is to paint Obama as the worst person in the world, or to benefit from some international affairs/military crisis type October surprise. We’ll see.
Let’s not forget what a huge advantage McCain had going into this debate: