Really, I think it ends up a push. Both candidates held their own, both got in some solid points, both responded to direct attacks.

So, tactically a push. Strategically, though, I think the tie goes to Obama. Foreign policy is McCain’s strong suit, and where Obama is seen as the weakest. Obama is significantly ahead in the polls. McCain needed a knock-out blow, and he didn’t get it. Obama needed to keep his position and look like he could be president, and I think he did that.

I also think that there are going to be a few things, like “John is Right…” and “you just don’t understand” and McCain’s anger vs. Obama’s calmness, that will play differently to the at-home audience than they do to the insta-pundits on TV. People watching at home tend to pick up on mood, tone, and temperament. It will take a few days to see how this all filters out though.

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