By most accounts, Republican challenger Mitt Romney was the clear winner of Wednesday's first debate with President Barack Obama. Romney engaged the incumbent while Obama looked down at his lectern. The challenger was a more forceful debater while Obama appeared less than engaged.
While Romney's body language seemed energetic, the president's body language was just the opposite. He seemed a bit irritated.
"I don't think anyone's ever spoken to him like that over the last four years. I think he found that not only surprising but offensive. It looked like he was angry at times," added CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, who has advised both Democratic and Republican presidents. [emphasis added]
While Romney took part in nearly 20 GOP primary debates this cycle, Obama has not participated in a debate in four years. And it showed.
"Participating in so many Republican primary debates helped Mitt Romney. He was, right from the beginning, more comfortable debating. The president was rusty as a debater. He hasn't done this in four years." King said.CNN also reports:
Two-thirds of people who watched the first presidential debate think that Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the showdown, according to a nationwide poll conducted Wednesday night.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the faceoff, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious.
By a 2 to 1 margin, uncommitted voters crowned Mitt Romney the winner over President Obama in the first presidential debate in Debate, Colo., on Wednesday night, according to a 500-person instant poll taken by CBS News.As DNC did 8 years ago, RNC has made an ad of the incumbent's unflattering reaction shots.
In the moments following the candidates' performances on the University of Denver stage, 46 percent of voters gave the economy-centric debate to Romney, 22 percent said they believed the president was the winner, and 32 percent called it a tie. More good news for the GOP nominee: 56 percent of those polled said they viewed Romney in a better light after watching the debate. Eleven percent said their opinion of him dropped, and 32 percent cited no change in opinion.
Perhaps most promising for Romney, whose upper-class income has helped stifle his ability to relate to the "average American," the percentage of those polled who said they felt the former Massachusetts governor cares about their needs and problems spiked from 30 percent pre-debate to 63 percent post-debate. President Obama also enjoyed a bump in that category, with 53 percent of voters saying they believed he cares about their issues before the debate, moving to 69 percent after the debate.