Norah O'Donnell was in Kansas City, Missouri during the debate yesterday with a panel of undecided voters. Their responsiveness to the candidates on the specific issues of McCain's invoking of Bill Ayers and Obama's tying McCain to George Bush was emblematic of the greater take on the debate as a whole.
Look at the red line signifying registered Republicans. As McCain goes on the attack about Ayers, it drops below the horizon into negative territory, side by side with the Independent vote. As the voter O'Donnell interviewed said, the whole Ayers issue has been dealt with and it's just beating a dead horse.
But more telling, look at that same red Republican line when Obama says that the country can't afford another 8 years of Bush policies. Up, up, up! No matter how petulantly McCain tries to distance himself from Bush, it's clear that the voters aren't buying it for a minute.