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TheStreet Open House

Who Won the Presidential Debate?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Before President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney concluded their first debate on Wednesday, some pundits and journalists already had determined a victor.

TheStreet spoke to experts from different fields to gauge who they thought really won the debate, and here's what they had to say in their own words. TheStreet also looked at the takes from pundits and writers from other news outlets.

Arnie Arnesen, former New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial nominee:

"I thought Obama was both lackluster and unprepared. And look, I've done debates -- I've run for Congress, I've run for governor -- and given the format they were describing ... what you saw with Mitt, what you didn't see with Obama is that Mitt came prepared with stories and numbers. He was almost like poetry; it was almost musical his ability to respond. And Obama had no stories and very few numbers and he didn't push Mitt Romney. ...We know that Obama is rusty, he's been in the presidential bubble for four years. Everybody takes care of him. ... Look at health care: Who do we know that is the most sensitive about the health care plan, who cares more about health care than anyone else? Women. Did you hear Obama appeal to women once? Not once. Not once."

Doug Preisse, Franklin County, Ohio Republican Party Chairman:

"My phone has been blowing up since about 20 to 30 minutes into the debate, even sort of moderate minded Republicans that I know were texting me saying, 'Wow,' they can't believe how poorly the president was doing, and, I think, how well Romney -- I mean gosh he could have stepped out of what the perceived character is, and was just strong and tough and articulate and consistent and bold. ... I think this was a classic case where an incumbent plays cautious and underperforms. And then the partisan in me also wants to believe this is a case where a guy with not much to sell has a hard time talking about why he should be re-elected. ... He Romney is still behind in Ohio, but can be taken much more credibly on the issues, and I think also much more embraced and warmly as a viable, logical alternative to this president."

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