From minute one, former Gov. Mitt Romney owned the first of three presidential election debates against the sitting President Barack Obama.
That being said, Romney cannot afford to get overconfident in his skills or else, he'll lose Round Two.
About 67 percent of registered voters who watched the debate said GOP nominee Mitt Romney won the debate, while 25 percent said President Barack Obama came out as the winner, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released late Wednesday night. For the survey, 430 adult Americans were interviewed by telephone after the end of the debate. The poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the event.
The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Just hours before the debate, CNN reported Obama with a significant advantage - 53 percent to 42 percent.
It was a moment Romney needed to seize, and seize he did.
According to the New York Times, voters going into the debate were split.
Oct. 3, 2012 - Denver, Colorado, U.S. - Republican presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY (L), AND U.S. President BARACK OBAMA (R) attend the first presidential debate at Denver University. (Credit Image: © Zhang Jun/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Time codes from CNN video are noted
Class issues Romney mentioned that "high-income people are doing just fine" soon followed by a jab (but played out) jab at the "millionaires and billionaires." (02:11:08)
Healthcare Romney noted what he likes and would keep in ObamaCare. (03:06:31)
Role of government and the economyThe candidates could not be more different than they are on these two issues which are not divisable in this race. Romney believes more government harms and holds back brainpower from reaching its full potential; Obama believes government makes industries possible. (03:08:27)
The summation: Romney won. Every pundit in the country - regardless of political alliances - can see he owned this first face-to-face on the battlefield. But now that the president has seen the enemy's eyes, the next encounter might not be so one sided.
Conservatives would be wise not to gloat; it could very well be the fire next time.
The next debate gives the presidential candidates a break. Vice President Joe Biden and Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan square off on Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. ET at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The debate will cover foreign and domestic policy in nine time segments of 10 minutes. Moderator Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond.
~ Follow me @erica_holloway.
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