The first two questions, on college kids looking for work and energy, kept the debate on Romney’s territory, but after that the topics — immigration, guns — were stronger for Obama.
The glaring exception was the Libya question, and Mitt Romney whiffed it. It’s true Candy Crowley stepped in on Obama’s behalf to protect him at a bad moment, but Romney shouldn’t have to rely on the moderator. Mitt had the opportunity.
President Obama, on the other hand, generally took advantage of his opportunities. His answer describing Romney as to the right of Bush was his strongest moment, but he made his points across the board.
Obama didn’t deliver a “Romney first debate” performance, and Romney didn’t have an “Obama first debate” meltdown.
But Obama gets the win. Mostly because Mitt didn’t seize it.