He won the debate.
I am a partisan, and I'm certain there are those on the other side who will say McCain won. And yes, there were no knockout blows, they both deflected the others' criticism, and neither one said a Palin-like gaffe that would have killed the campaign.
Although CNN and CBS had polls afterwards that Obama had performed better, I think most analysts are calling it a tie.
BUT that does not change the fact that Obama won the debate.
Because McCain NEEDED TO WIN. He needed to hit this out of the park. He needed a game-changer. There are no more for him. The conventions are over, the veeps selected--the only thing left are the debates.
Palin will not be able to take down Biden. She will be lucky to be left standing. McCain will NOT be able to tangle with Obama on the economy. It's over. There are no more game-changers left.
The only chance McCain had was to knock out Obama on his supposed strong suit--foreign policy.
And he didn't. Most polls are showing Obama won--but in fact, at best, it was a tie. McCain is bleeding in the polls, he didn't need a tie-he needed a win. A big win.
And that is why Obama won.