You've got to give John McCain points for showing up at least.
The debate must have been a scary experience for John McCain -- he couldn't even look Barack Obama in the eyes for the vast majority of the debate. He must have been terrified. McCain is clearly more comfortable "fighting from a distance." Being in close proximity to "his enemy" makes him quite nervous.
CNN did an instant telephone poll tonight immediately following the debate - 524 debate-watching adults surveyed - margin of error +-4.5 points.
Question #1: Who did he best job in the debate?
Question #2: Who would better handle Iraq?
Question #3: Who would better handle the Economy?
A rock-solid victory for Obama overall. If foreign policy is John McCain's strongest area and he failed to excel in that area of the debate, clearly Obama comes out on top. The next debate will focus on the economy, and will play to Obama's strength.
Update: A CBS News poll confirms Obama's win:
CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened.
Thirty-nine percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. Twenty-five percent thought John McCain won. Thirty-six percent saw it as a draw.
Forty-six percent of uncommitted voters said their opinion of Obama got better tonight. Thirty-one percent said their opinion of McCain got better.
Sixty-six percent of uncommitted voters think Obama would make the right decisions about the economy. Forty-four percent think McCain would.
Forty-eight percent of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. Fifty-eight percent think McCain would.
We will have a full report on the poll later on. Uncommitted voters are those who don't yet know who they will vote for, or who have chosen a candidate but may still change their minds.
The margin of sampling error could be plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the entire sample.
There is still a long ways to go, and a lot can happen, but Obama's win in the debate tonight caps a dismal last few weeks for McCain. Given this debate loss, McCain definitely has a long row to hoe if he wants to win this election.
Update: MSNBC on McCain's childish eye contact games during last night's debate.
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