Who Won the Presidential Debate: Romney and Obama Draw

Almost two weeks ago, Mitt Romney went from "likely loser" to "emerging frontrunner" in the span of an hour and a half. The orator that is Barack Obama chose not to arrive at the debate in Denver, with pundits on both side of the aisle all agreeing that Romney owned the night. Although Biden didn't have a lackluster performance, playing the role of laughing boy didn't do much to right the ship. While polls cannot predict the final outcome, the trends at this point are undeniable. Romney has tightened the race, and could conceivably be called the "frontrunner" depending on your persuasion.

Against this backdrop, the two candidates will meet at Hofstra University in the townhall format debate.  This means that the candidates have to be more conversational, and the confrontation won't be as direct as the prior debate. This format could help Barack Obama overcome his poor performance, but on the same token, it also gives the chance for Romney to continue his assault by taking his message directly to the attendees. Either way, this format offers the most fireworks and opportunities for crazy moments to occur.

Make sure to bookmark this page for continued to updates throughout the debate, and check back starting at 8:30 p.m. eastern for coverage before and throughout the debate. Also, follow all the coverage at PolicyMic from the team of pundits covering the debate.

Oct. 16 Debate: 

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have 2 minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

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11:19p:  The spin rooms are in full swing tonight, which means one clear thing - the debate was a clear draw.  Obama didn't appear to be the tired, uninterested debater like last time.  Romney didn't let up on the President's record on the economy.  As it is, we have a grueling three weeks before the election on Novemer 6 decides who will be the next President of the United States.

11:04p:  Obama clearly dodged a bullet on Libya tonight, as most pundits are correctly identifying that Romney failed to really go for Obama's throat on his response.  Romney had a lot to lay out here, and could have should he have chosen to do so.

11:00p:  Who won the debate?  If you ask Plouffe, it was Obama.  If you ask Governor Jindal, it was Romney.  In reality, it was neither...

10:55p:  Good thing Crowley cut Romney off there at the end.  Obama had three more minutes of speaking time than Romney.  Wouldn't want that to even out.

10:41p:  Not much to this debate, to be honest.  Romney held his ground, Obama took his ground back.  Having said that, shouldn't be much to the polls that haven't already been done.  Let's see how the reactions are coming in.

10:38p:  I believe that the free market is great, that risk takers are great, and stuff.  Then again, I couldn't fund my massive government programs without them, says the good Senator.

10:34p:  Outsourcing jobs.  How do we stop?  Well, we interrupt Romney for one and give the floor to the President for one.  Second, we harken back to the class warfare tax cuts argument for two.  That's how we do it.

10:29p:  Let me tell you what I'll do about guns, Cindi.  I'll talk about education and avoid Fast and Furious because it's a political liability.  That's what I'll do.  Huh?

10:24p:  I'ver never been one to side with the Conservatives that claim a bias in the media, but something is just not sitting right with Crowley tonight.  Don't know why, don't know if it's a legitimate feeling, but something just feels off.

10:17p:  Crowley just served Romney, sort of, but then admitted it took 2 weeks for the narrative to solidify around it being a terrorist act.

10:12p:  You don't turn national security into a political issue, says the man that killed OBL.

10:10p:  Romney's not telling the truth again!  I tried, I really did, I promise!  When the Democrats held a filibuster proof majority.  Let's just have a knife fight and get it done with.

10:00p:  Good.  Romney doesn't pander to the illegal immigrant voters by saying "People who come here illegally are taking spots for the 4 million who are waiting to come legally."

9:57p:  Romney just continues to hammer Obama on deficit, jobs numbers, and things Obama cannot concievably run on.  9 million jobs is the difference in promise and performance.  47 million people on foodstamps.  You know the difference between potential and reality?  3 million dollars...

9:53p:  Alright, I feel a bit better now.  The real question comes to Obama.  "I voted for you in 2008, but don't feel so good now."  Man that asked the question didn't look so impressed with the answer from Obama.

9:47p:  Huh?  Did we just get a question as to how Romney is different from President Bush?  Will Romney please say, "Look, you can hold Bush responsible all you want.  Truth is, he was.  That's why you elected Barack Obama, because he promised something different."  Jesus...

9:44p:  Obama clearly going after the woman vote that he's been losing the last couple of weeks.  How do you get better jobs for women?  Fund Planned Parenthood, dummy!

9:41p:  Pay equity is, I suppose, a good question.  However, President hasn't and will never be able to force private companies to pay the same for everyone.  Then again, Romney makes a good point - it starts with leadership making the choice to create an equal workplace because they want the best workers.

9:33p:  Obama won't let Romney off with the class warfare rhetoric.  He wants to give the richest people tax breaks and punish the middle class.  Oh yeah, he's vague.  Wait a minute - did Obama just bust out Big Bird and Planned Parenthood again?  Yes, apparently that's still a sore point.

By the way, here's Obama's record on his tax promises from 2008:  

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/subjects/taxes/

9:26p:  Well, it looks like the lady just forgot the tax credit that she uses because she has kids in college.  Key point of advice - forget the presidential debate, and hire a better accountant.  I think you're getting some confusing advice.

9:21p:  BREAKING:  Obama has fired John Kerry and hired Joe Biden as his debate coach.

9:17p:  One thing is clear from tonight - Obama's not coming out slow.  Then again, so is Romney.  Both want to make this debate theirs to own.  Another thing - whomever has started off answering the question is getting slammed on the rebuttal by his opponent.  If a candidate can set the framework sufficiently enough during their first answer, they can create the advantage.

9:11p:  First broadside of the night.  "Obama says I want to take Detroit bankrupt.  Well, you did Mr. President."  Obama counters.  "He doesn't have a 5 point plan.  He has a 1 point plan."  KNIFE FIGHT!

9:08p:  Romney starts off solid, but doesn't prefer a specific answer to the question about how he'll create jobs.  Obama starts off with creating manufacturing jobs, and then onto education.  Neither man was very specific.  Something to pay attention to, though.  Obama fired up out of that chair.  He might have some of that energy tonight, but the real question will be whether or not can he keep it up?

9:04p:  Right into it - a nervous student from New York asks the first question.  "Where am I going to find a job?"

8:59p:  Well, the debate is about to begin.  As it is, just a heads up that something Republicans and Democrats can agree on - the United States Soccer team is leading Guatemala 3-1 in World Cup Qualifying.