A Gallup Poll suggests that, by a wide margin, those watching last nights debate believe that Kerry won (53%, as opposed to 37% who thought Bush performed better). But it doesnt seem to make much of a difference in terms of overall voter preference. Slightly more believe that Kerry would do a better job than the president in handling Iraq (43%, as opposed to 40% before the debate). A solid majority, though, still think Bush would do better in this regard--54%, unchanged since before the debate. The percentage of folks who think Kerry would make a better commander-in-chief is also up, from 42% to 44%, and Bushs numbers dropped very slightly, from 55% to 54%.
In short, if these numbers are any indication, the debate doesnt really mean a thing. Which is why I made a point of not watching it.