Near the end of tonight's debate it occurred to me that even if this debate ends up regarded as a tie (and there's no way to know until after a few days of post-debate spin by both sides has had it's effect) that tonight ends as win for Kerry.
Why? Prior to the debate, much of Bush's support was soft and largely based on the brilliant job they did in making a cartoon character out of Kerry. There were a lot of folks --- a lot of Democrats, even --- who simply did not want to vote Bush, but the picture created of Kerry made them wary of getting behind him.
Twice now Kerry has stood along side of Bush, with the filter gone and looked either far better or equally as impressive/strong.
Thus, those previously concerned about voting for Kerry are being put greatly at ease, and I believe the polls will continue to show that in the next few days by moving more and more in Kerry's direction. Precisely as they have been since Debate #1.
As to the accuracy of the picture given by those polls, no matter who is leading between now and Nov. 2nd...well, I'll have more to say on that in the coming days and weeks. Suffice to say, Bush supporters would be wise not to count any poll-based chickens before they hatch.