My post is up over at PP -- it's all about Mitt Romney, and the policy gap. As usual, what I did was to post that one quickly, before seeing any reactions at all outside of what I saw on twitter during the debate.
I see now that the instapolls are on Barack Obama's side again this time, for whatever that's worth. And the rest of what I saw is mostly supporting that, so it looks as if it was a good night for Obama. We'll see how the polls react (or don't) over the next several days, of course. Too soon to know.
I'll say a bit about Obama's performance, since I didn't over there. Probably more tomorrow (yes, I've been a bit distracted tonight with the Giants/Cardinals game -- forgot to put up an open thread before the debate, even).
I suspect -- although I'm not sure -- that the fact checkers are going to give Obama a harder time on this one. Just a guess; there's nothing in particular that stood out to me, but I thought a few times he was shading things a bit more than usual. That's probably good strategy on his part; by establishing a reputation as relatively more factually connected than his opponent, he can probably afford to slip a few through, something his campaigns have done before with ads. I could be wrong...I'll be reading the fact-checkers tomorrow morning, not tonight.
As for the rest of his performance: it struck me that Obama was spending quite a bit of time on personal attacks, some rather petty, rather than on policy attacks. He didn't get to tax returns, but he did get to Romney's investments, and I think some others. Granted, when he's running against a guy whose entire defense of his budget plan is to trust him because he's balanced budgets in business (Huh? You don't do that in business; it's not the same thing at all), it's perhaps understandable that Obama would go at him for those sorts of things. Still, several of Obama's attacks seemed small and not very convincing to me.
Granted, some of the attacks were quite successful, including the one that seems to be getting the most play tonight -- the one on Romney's attacks on the size of the navy. And Obama was never really pressed hard, never even close to being rattled, thanks in part to Romney's choice to back away from many of his attacks and in part to Obama being quite capable of handling attacks. At least most of the time.
It's a mug's game to guess what effect any of that has on the election, other than saying again that (1) the history of these things is that most debates don't make much of a difference, and that (2) if the election is in fact very close, then "not much of a difference" could still be significant. There's really no substitute, however, for waiting for the polls.
More, I suspect, tomorrow.