I happen to think Obama won last night's debate, if you go by the facts. What I don't know is how much critical attention last night's viewers paid to what was being said; I would hope that they noticed that on the very first question about getting a job after graduation, that Romney had no answer and only criticized the current state of the economy. That was a clear indication that Romney was still hewing to the "referendum" concept of the election, and not a choice. I would hope that people cared enough to notice he had no answer. And that Obama came out talking about the future and opportunity.
Yet I think that Romney had enough hokum in what he said last night that an inattentive viewer, or one not versed in the facts, might have been very satisfied with what he heard. Romney's "plan" for 12 million jobs in the next four years, for instance; it's been discounted as unambitious, but if you weren't paying attention and didn't have the details or a calculator at hand, you might have been impressed. And his carping about the withdrawal of stagnant licenses to drill on federal lands; I don't know whether Obama's retort came soon enough to wash away Romney's point.
My guess is that the polls will move very little, if any, as a result of the debate itself. Romney was just good enough to maintain the gains he received after Obama's poor performance two weeks ago. It's quite possible, of course, that a more settled opinion will occur, one in which Obama gains. First night opinions are not the be all and end all; the media's discussion of the debate will have an impact too. But for now, even though Obama won, I think Romney did well enough.
PS: I can't believe how Romney opened the door for the 47% discussion on that final question.