"I think most people's first impression, is that Kerry was strong and forceful, while Bush was less effective, more hesitant."
"I've been watching the debate for five minutes now. Despite my partisan inclinations, I have to admit that Kerry has won this debate. And not just in the high-school debate-coach sense of the word. Kerry comes off as the prosecutor accusing Bush of incompetence. Bush comes off as his Meet-The-Press, press-conference version - dogged, arrogant and unlikable. Kerry will get a significant bounce in the head-to-head poll numbers from this debate."
"But, candidly, I don't think it went that well for the President. I think Kerry helped himself tonight. He came across as a credible candidate, and he was usually on the offensive...I think Kerry made headway, and there is plenty of material there for the mainstream media to proclaim the beginning of Kerry's comeback...On the whole, though, I think Kerry helped himself tonight."
"Well, if I'm generous, then Bush stuck to his talking points. As a former debater, however, I am tempted to say that Bush missed many, many, many chances to really make key points against Kerry...I'm not certain that Kerry won more than a few swing votes in this, but I don't know if Bush can win those votes back. He simply didn't deliver as well as Kerry."