The previous thread has become discombobulated due to the necessity of deleting racist and anti religion remarks, which will not be tolerated. So we will pick it up from here, beginning with Mark’s final thoughts:
UPDATE II, by Mark Noonan: Final Thoughts
Clearly Romney was in control through the whole debate. You might be thinking that Romney actually talked more than Obama but from what I’ve read, Obama actually talked about 4 minutes longer than Romney. That just shows how good Romney was.
Will it change things? Not actually – you see, in my view, Romney came in to the debate ahead in the race. Even some of the (still badly skewed) polls are showing a shift to Romney, but the basic facts of the race have not changed. We’ve got a lousy economy, a reduced position in the world and a President clearly out of his depth – and there is no real argument Obama can make to convince a majority to award him four more years based upon his record. Obama had to come out swinging tonight with a clear, rational reason why no matter how bad he is, Romney is worse. Obama didn’t make that case – and Romney did all that was ever required of him: present a credible alternative to Obama.
Romney can still blow it in the final debates. Obama can still land a heavy blow. Events can still develope which help or hinder either candidate. Both men can win on November 6th. My view remains: Romney is likely to win, and may end up winning by a substantial margin. But it ain’t over until its over.