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Who Won the Presidential Debate?

Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist at

"What I think people are really looking for right now is, you know, most futures are a little bit up ... they were up moderately, but at this point I think people are factoring in more than anything else is, they're factoring in a presidential re-election based on the polls. I don't think there was anything earth-changing in this debate that really changed the current trend. ... More likely the debate was a draw. ... I think basically the president was able to hit more emotional buttons, at the same time the governor had a pretty good command on facts. ... Right now it's almost like the president just has to maintain the status quo and avoid making a mistake, whereas Gov. Romney has to do two things: avoid making a mistake, and also he has to basically ... has to radically change the game. So at that point, Romney didn't really score either of those two things. In terms of economically, their all kind of speaking what I call talking points."

Maegan Stephens, doctoral candidate in political communications at the University of Texas at Austin:

"My first impression was, wow, they really can't follow rules about time, they just have an inability to shorten their responses and listen when a moderator tells them they only have two minutes to speak. ... My second impression was that Romney really came out with some more personality; I mean if I had to give a speaker award in that debate it's going to Romney for sure. He was engaging, and dynamic, and forceful, and I think a side of him we generally don't see in a lot of his speeches or even media events ... and to compare that to Obama who seemed sort of defensive and, oh I hate to say it, lackluster. Even in the first five or 10 minutes I was thinking, 'Is he going to turn it on?' and it never really seemed to get there. ... The third impression was content based. They both needed to do a lot more with specifics. ... I feel like Obama had a lot of opportunities to ask for specifics in Romney's plan, and while he vaguely mentioned there was a lack of specifics, he didn't say 'So give me something, I'm not responding until you give me an answer.' ... Stylistically, absolutely Romney gave a stellar performance. Content-wise, I'd have to say no, because I didn't hear specifics."

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