Obama was much more animated and his supporters will be happier tonight.
I think Romney was more impressive but I am a partisan. What surprised me was a focus group collected by Frank Luntz that decided that Romney won overwhelmingly. These were Obama voters in 2008. Their comments were very interesting. One woman supported Obama because of his comments about contraception. She was pretty much alone.
Obama said some things that will be in RNC ads next week.
1. He said that oil and gas leases were increased on public land during his administration. That is not true and Romney called him on it. Chris Wallace checked the facts and Romney was correct.
2. He said that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class and he had cut them. I don’t think anyone believed him. Romney did a good job, better than the first debate, in explaining his proposals.
3. The was only one question on Libya and Obama lied about what he said the day after the attack. That was foolish and we will see the Rose Garden statement many times before the election. He mentioned terrorism but the connection with Benghazi was not made. For weeks after, Obama and his underlings, especially Susan Rice the first black UN ambassador, kept offering the story of the anti-Muslim video.
4. The concerns about Candy Crowley as moderator were well based. She cut off Romney multiple times and Obama talked right past the clock. He ended with 7 more minutes of time. In addition, contrary to the agreement, Candy Crowley inserted herself into the questioning and supported Obama in his assertion that he had described the attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism. She later, after the debate was over admitted her mistake. That will be a topic until the election.
5. There was a dumb question about an “assault weapons ban.” Romney did well to note that automatic weapons are already illegal, a detail that escapes most Democrats, like Diane Feinstein
All in all, I thought Romney did well and Obama improved his performance from last time, although at the cost of a number of falsehoods that will provide fodder for the large Romney ad budget in the next two weeks.
There were several exchanges on immigration policy and education but these were the highlights for me.