Joe Biden did fine. Paul Ryan did fine. Both made their points and presented their cases. Each side thought their man won. Biden probably accomplished his primary objective of stopping the freefall in the polls that had resulted from Obama’s disastrous debate performance last week. Ryan did fine on the big stage and established himself as a significant player in the Republican Party.
So, who won? I think the Reps probably won because they are keeping the discussion on the economy. What is not on the table is the Culture Wars. I have been writing for some time that the Reps want to have the economy be the issue for this election, and the Dems want the Culture Wars be the issue. The economy sucks, the Radical Right want to enact an evangelical puritanical culture in America. If people think the economy is the most important issue, advantage Reps. If people think the Culture Wars are the most important issue, advantage Dems.
So far, it looks to me like it is advantage Reps because the field of play in the debates is the economy.
Foreign policy was also hit pretty hard last night, and I think that gives the Dems an advantage because the Reps are sounding too much like George W and the neocons. I think the country is pretty sick of sending its children off to die in the Middle East, and bellicosity is probably not playing real well today.