Not by a lot, but Joe Biden just won the vice presidential debate.
I was watching CNN, which had a graph showing the response of their focus group at the bottom of the screen. Toward the beginning, Palin got pretty good ratings and Biden didn’t do so well. But as the debate went on, it seemed like Biden hit his stride and Palin ran out of talking points.
In the latter part of the debate, Biden got consistently high ratings, while Palin’s were a bit more like an EKG. And she ended up heavily relying on re-quoting Reagan and re-hashing talking points, while Biden spoke from the heart.
I think the defining moment was when Biden was talking about the personal tragedy he went through with his family, and Palin responded by talking about how great John McCain was. One came off as authentic; the other came off as a campaign shill.
I mean, the reason for Biden’s win was clear–Sarah Palin spoke from a script, Joe Biden spoke from experience. The Vice President should know what they’re doing–they shouldn’t need a team of advisers to tell them what to say and what to believe.
So. tonight was a slight win to Biden. But I don’t think anything really changed–I think that, come tomorrow, Obama will lead by as much as he lead by today and yesterday. But tonight Joe Biden showed he was fit to be President; Sarah Palin showed she could read talking points well.
UPDATE: Here’s a CBS poll of undecided voters that just came out:
46%: Biden won
21%: Palin won
UPDATE II: From CNN: