Well, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Obama cleaned up on domestic policy, and as the night transitioned to foreign policy, it turned closer to a draw (at least in terms of debate, if not legitimate policy ideas). However, given that the reality of this economic crisis imbues Obama’s empathy and ease on matters of domestic policy, there’s no doubt that Obama scored where it counted. In this environment, there’s simply no amount of squabbling over the semantics and aesthetics of Pakistani policy that outweighs ballooning health care costs and shrinking retirement accounts. (Give McCain credit at least for understanding this though with the announcement of his belated, already accounted for, and magically funded while cutting Medicare and lowering taxes “McCain Resurgence Plan.”)
Anyway, I’m sure the media will manage to call this a draw or a narrow win for McCain by virtue of the fact that close races drive ratings John McCain wasn’t as full of contempt as during the last debate, but I’m confident that polling will prove this yet another decisive win for Obama.
UPDATE: These may change as the night goes on and the week progresses, but it would appear polls vindicate my basic analysis.
The CBS/Knowledge Network poll: Who won? Obama: 39%, McCain 27%, Tie: 35%. Were minds changed? 70% still uncommitted. 15% committed to Obama; 14% to McCain. Obama had an advantage of 18 points on the economy.
CNN’s poll: Who won? Obama, 54%, McCain 30%.