"Good job, John!" Barack Obama congratulated John McCain as they crossed the House at the end of the debate at Ole Miss. I think John McCain did much better than he was expected to and conversely Obama did not live up to higher expectations. Consequently, purely as an exercise in debate as political theatre, I would say John McCain won this one, but only just barely. As David Gergen said on CNN, he didn't knock it out of the park, and being behind in the race, he needs more than this to regain the momentum.
Post debate telephone polling from CNN with plus or minus 4.5% margin of error gives double digit leads to BARACK OBAMA from the television audience on specific questions about the debate, particularly on the Economy and on Foreign Policy.
MAJOR Bad News for McCain: older voters (those close to retirement) and women give the debate overwhelmingly to Barack Obama.