Voters in the USA now have one month to consider how the debate may influence their choice for president and what they want to hear next time around. It would appear that no decisions are set in stone as one student in Denver explained: “I’m still deciding but I am leaning more towards Mitt Romney right now. I feel like he described more of his plans. It just seemed to resonate more and I agreed with him more.”
In a bar in Ohio the general opinion was what they call the close-quarter sparring could change early perceptions.
“I think this is the first time they’ve seen them side by side and they are learning a lot here. I think Romney has exposed a lot of Obama’s weaknesses and deficiencies, so I would give the slight edge to Romney,” said Timothy Curtin, a chemist from Ohio.
At the heart of government in Washington for some it wasn’t just about the words and policies. Many believe Romney’s performance opened up the race but the man on Capitol Hill was the winner among these viewers.
“I think Obama provided a lot more details, I thought he was very reflective on the importance of building the middle class and laying out his strategy so I would say I think he won,” said one while another added, “I think it was a good debate between the two of them, I felt Mitt Romney was rather smug, he had a smile on his face and a rather nasty little smile. Obama was himself, he is very thoughtful, he is very careful about what he says.”
Analysts and pollsters have put the words and performances under the microscope. Many believe both missed the chance of an assertive blow.
“I thought both candidates overall did a great job and there was no knockout punch that was landed in the debate. I think you did get to see some of their personalities, but generally speaking there were no big mistakes,” opined Jonathan Paul, Director of Debate at Georgetown University.
Questions still to be answered before the next debate include how Americans will react to a government report on the jobs market due out on Friday and how will the challenger build on his first head to head encounter with Obama.