Both campaigns were looking for strong debate performances Thursday night between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., but according to Twitter, the end result may have been a draw.
CNBC's early poll results show that 56 percent of viewers picked Ryan as the winner of the debate compared to 36 percent for Biden and 8 percent for neither candidate.
A CBS News instant poll gave Biden the debate at 50 percent, with Ryan at 31 percent and the candidates tying at 19 percent, while CNN's poll showed 48 percent of voters picking Ryan as the winner compared to 44 percent for Biden.
Nothing about the debate will change the race much, Ed Rogers predicted at The Washington Post. Instead, the debate would simply maintain the status quo.
"As this insider has repeatedly said, the vice presidential nominee doesn't drive any votes. Tonight's debate will sustain that truth," Rogers wrote. "By the end of the debate, only faithful political junkies were still tuned in. This debate didn't change anything."
On CNN, Wolf Blitzer said the debate was "pretty much a draw," while Josh Barro of Bloomberg echoed that point, tweeting that the debate "will read to most voters as two guys bickering, often incomprehensibly."
Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald predicted that Fox News will say Ryan won and MSNBC will say Biden won. The real loser in the debate is the public, Caputo tweeted, since "the candidates didn't actually debate."
The key to telling who won the debate will be style over substance, journalist Bernard Goldberg predicted.
"Biden interrupted, laughed at Ryan, came off as condescending," Goldberg tweeted. "Independents don't like that."
Joe Pounder of the Republican National Committee tweeted after the debate that Biden interrupted Ryan 82 times, while Ryan interrupted six times.
"In terms of debating, Biden won because he dominated," David Freddoso of The Washington Examiner tweeted. "But this isn't debate school — it's an election. People have to like him."
While some criticized Biden as being overbearing and rude, others suggested that his performance could help rally the Democratic base.
Piers Morgan of CNN argued that it wasn't a draw, and that Biden was "clearly the winner." Although he said that while he suspects independents will be "put off by Biden's incessant smirking," Democrats "will have loved all his passion and fire in the belly."
ABC's Jake Tapper quoted President Barack Obama, who said he could not be prouder and that he thought Biden made a very strong case on behalf of the middle class.
"If nothing else happened tonight, it put a lid on Dems' panic. That's about it," CNBC's Carl Quintanilla tweeted. "Biden forceful but dismissive. Ryan strong but tested. (Debate moderator Martha) Raddatz in control, but softball Qs at end. Did anyone come out unscathed?"
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