Round 2 is over — which way are undecided voters swinging?

October 8, 2008

rtx9bhu.jpgRound two of the presidential debates between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama is over.

How did they do?

The town hall format was seen as an advantage for McCain. Did he live up to expectations?

Obama has been gaining an edge in many battleground states. Did he do anything to undermine or enhance his small lead?

Did they focus enough on the issues? Were undecided voters swayed?

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage 

- Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria


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Obama won!

Posted by Khadar | Report as abusive

the issues have been clear after the first debate.
this one just repeated same old rhetoric from both sides in a different format.
it was an improvement over the first debate for mccain in that he seemed more relaxed.

however, i dont want another republican in the white house for atleast 2 terms.
after that i will reconsider.

Posted by scott | Report as abusive

Obama won….. no doubt….

Posted by Harry Ingram | Report as abusive

McCain won the debate because he had clear and decisive answers. Obama focuses too much on emotion, and his overbearing insistence on ignoring time constraints was annoying.

Obama won by effectively countering McCain’s distortions of his record and proposals. He demonstrated a firmer grasp of today’s economic realities and their origins in deregulatory policies that McCain has long supported, and his views on foreign and military policy match up better with those of our generals, former secretaries of state, and oujr allies than McCain’s do.

Posted by Daniel Zimmerman | Report as abusive

The debate was a disappointment. Brokaw was unable to manage it and, instead of staying in the background like Gwen Ifill, made himself into a distraction by his carping about the format.

Both candidates seemed tired; McCain looked terrible. They were both effective in pounding on their respective messages. Obama maintained his cool while McCain seemed frenetic. It was telling that his attempts at humor fell completely flat with the audience.

I’d give the debate to Obama by a small margin based on the more substantive content of his responses.

Posted by Kate | Report as abusive

McCain won! Obama wants to pay more for those that don’t want to work. What a loser!!!!

Posted by Jsinc | Report as abusive

Funny that time was my anti-spam word.

I feel like Obama spent more time on the issues than McCain did. I felt like McCain was in more of a desperate attack mode, whereas I felt calmness and real answers coming from Obama.

I thought the town hall format was great and I wish that there were many, many of them before the election.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

McCain’s platform was a draw, which technically means Obama won

Posted by Sarah | Report as abusive

I guess Obama won, but wasn’t that convincing. Mc Cain was stuck in the past and unable to make his point. He kept repeating “my friends” to the audience and left promptly after the debate whereas Obama stayed and talked to everyone…

Posted by Dex | Report as abusive

Nothing in this debate will change any minds already made up. To the extent that John McCain needed to score points in order to blunt Obama’s recent surge in the polls, he lost.

You people don’t get it. Obama just contradicted himself over and over. Liberals are following Obama like a puppy follows the dog catcher to doggie hell! I wrote a blog post about Obama’s contradictions, but I’m sure liberals will tell me how stupid I am, and how I am wrong with the same old language, “Change!” 8/10/07/debate-winner-obama-or-mccain/

Barack Hussein Obama only know and understand the surface of the picture. He is too dangerous to lead a country. Too bad that the U.S media networks filters the news and favorite Obama for their gains. The sad part is that Americans are buying that!!!

Posted by vieto | Report as abusive

After the debates, I opened my ballot envelope and voted for Obama! McCain, thanks to Palin, lost my vote with this week’s ferocious attacks with no substance on issues.

Posted by Beverly from Colorado Springs | Report as abusive

Obama clearly won. McCain is a bad joke for the presidency.He will be worse than George Bush!

Posted by AYO ABRAHAM | Report as abusive

Nobody won. I heard absolutely nothing different. The debate was status quo, and nothing new was learned.

Entertainment? Sure. A good use of my (and America’s) time? Not really.

Posted by jnali | Report as abusive

OBama Won again !

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Obama, easiy.

Posted by Eloise Nyman | Report as abusive

McCain won! No contest……

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Obama won!
As for Mc SAme, Surge Surge is the only thing that he thinks is his major achievement. It is just like saying I burned the house and found a good “strategy” to contain it :). idiot! “THIS ONE” needs to be kicked out in this election

Posted by moorlee | Report as abusive

America is going to vote for John Sidney McCain, not for Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

Posted by antor | Report as abusive

If you are going to make a statement about who won in your opinion, then back it up with why you think that.

Posted by hmmmmm | Report as abusive

The political equivalent of heavyweight boxers wrapping up for 12 rounds. Anybody who says this was anything but a tie is exposing their pre-determined allegiance

Posted by trn | Report as abusive

Wow, so McCain just destroyed Obama in the debate tonight. McCain futures are already pointing up in Intrade. What say you guys about a huge rally in the market tomorrow, essentially pricing in a McCain win?

McCain’s comments seemed dead on about being in dark, hopeless hours during his life and he can guide us competently and calmly through this financial turmoil.

I can’t believe I’m saying all this as a registered Democrat! Here’s to a McCain rally in the stock market tomorrow!

Posted by relat | Report as abusive

McCain has won with the record that he has, Obama has no record whatsoever in anything!

Posted by antor | Report as abusive

McCain seemed so calm and collective with all of his answers tonight. He had the audience laughing, he spoke clearly and directly to those with questions, and his closing remarks really brought about confidence in the American people.

McCain won hands down.

Posted by jermaine | Report as abusive

McCain decries sending billions of dollars “to countries that don’t like us very much,” by which we assume he means, among others, Iran and Russia. But because of the rise in oil prices resulting from the Iraq war, Iran and Russia are raking in billions of dollars in oil revenues. It’s a simple equation: War John McCain supports waging indefinitely = regional destabilization = increased oil prices = higher revenues for regimes John McCain wants to contain.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Obama in total control ! Would not want to be riding
in the car McCain is driving. Yikes !!

Posted by Scott Wheeler | Report as abusive

McCain said he wanted to “get rid of” the “special interests” in Washington to solve the economic crisis. 164 former lobbyists, however, run his campaign, raise money for him, and set his policy agenda.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

It was clear that Senator Obama was focused on the strategies and solutions he will need as president, whereas Senator McCain was reflecting on the past and still desperately running for president. Their behaviors tell the story…

Posted by photon | Report as abusive

I found McCain’s statements on economy to hold more substance/merit. Obama’s plan is less sound and raises some distrust that he will inevitably raise taxes.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day… I do not believe McCain’s substance this evening will beat Obama’s “presentation”. This election remains Obama’s to lose, not McCain’s to win. Obama’s gift for presentation won the debate despite McCain’s superior platform.

Obama was shown to be a reasonable, altruistic, intelligent person, and is the clear winner.

Anyway, I’d vote for Obama one way or the other – Palin just freaks me out, and imagine McCain becomes ill! Palin is the next person in the line of succession. She just poses too big of a risk to have such power.

I’m an independent and I feel that Obama won the debate. I feel that he spent more time on, and was more direct with his answers on the issue that matters to me the most – the economy. I thought McCain looked a little desperate – always saying “my friends” and trying to inject humor that fell flat. So far I’m leaning Obama/Biden.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Obama won clearly. It wasn’t even close, it was a landslide.

Posted by Paler | Report as abusive

Overall I felt that Obama had a slight edge. But frankly it was yet another debate with the same talking points, and no new ideas or clear answers! Please wake me up after Nov 4th!

Posted by George | Report as abusive

Sen. Obama did a great job tonight staying on subject. For him to be the quote the inexperienced one, he sure looked polished to me. Had much more substance in his answers and did you notice no cheat notes. And remained seated while Sen. McCain spoke showing his manners while Sen. McCain walked and made jesters showing his lack of restraint, how would that come into play for Sen. McCain if elected. I listened tonight to try and understand the two men, Sen. McCain gave me my choice for sure tonight.
After his child like decision to pick Palin as a running mate. Sen. Obama My CHOICE

Posted by Rev. Dwayne Gammage | Report as abusive

McCain clearly won. Obama gets credit for a better explanation of what the bailout means, beyond that he faltered, stumbled and sounded like a broken record. He “agreed” with “John” on a number of occasions.

McCain was much stronger on the economy and foreign affairs.

Brokaw is a shell of what he once was…shame-I like him.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Obama outclassed. Anyone that thinks otherwise is simply misguided.

Posted by Suckbag | Report as abusive

When you guys highlight Obama’s middle name thinking people will link it to Saddam Hussein, you just show how naive and uneducated you are. Can we also link McCain’s name to McDonalds? Don’t you have a better argument?

Posted by Barry | Report as abusive

obama won and Mc-cain lost teribly. He did worse than expected and did not stick on issues on Americans

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Obama won this debate and election!
This was the time when they had to show they understand the economy and the difference between old concepts and new blood was clear.
Its time to admit that we are in deep trouble and Mcain is not going to do any good to us .

Posted by cristian stefan | Report as abusive

McCain won- nobama was slammed for his senate campaign for promises never appearing- he is a man of no substance-
John McCain is Combat Proven! nobama didn’t have the decency to Thank A Chief Petty Officer for his service-
only stating like a limp dick that he appreciated it-
watered down empty suit- nothing done- no record- nothing to offer- the winner had answers to issues-

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive


Posted by denny | Report as abusive

McCain said that if we’d withdrawn from Iraq, Iranian influence would have increased and Al Qaeda would have set up a base. Both of these things happened because we invaded Iraq.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Obama won. Easy. He is eloquent and going for the roots of the problems we face here. McCain just want to cover issues with a band aids.

Posted by kristin Anderson | Report as abusive

To the guy who repeats Obama’s middle name in CAPS: I am glad you have such a good grasp of the issues.

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

Hmmm….I’m going to vote for “that one”

Obama/Biden ’08

Posted by Bassem | Report as abusive

mccain should get over this distain he keeps showing, after the debate, the obama’s came over to shake hands, mccain pointedly stepped back, encouraged his wife to, but he refused to. he also would not be specific, saying “i know how to …” like we should just trust him. not happening. BTW, M. Obama looks to me like there’s a bun in the oven.

Posted by anon | Report as abusive

This coming from Toronto, Canada….John McCain is an utter joke, cannot believe the fool cannot back up any of his beliefs with out having to quote who or what Obama voted for or having to look back to old loser Senate friends…..Obama all the way, is this even a race??? For the exception all the southern white folk that will be voting for navy boy, this isn’t even a contest…..Hopefully Obama helps us all, we and the rest of the world are suffering for idiotic American blunders….God Bless

Posted by Mass | Report as abusive

The debate was very boring.I understood Obama plans. But, I am still not clear what McCain’s plans are.

Posted by Rahsaun | Report as abusive