Two of the debate observers quoted at Andrew Sullivan’s blog:
Tonight was supposed to be John McCain’s night, but it was the first clear debate win Obama has scored over the course of this campaign — including the primary. McCain, as it turned out, was badly disadvantaged by the format. The debate was more physical than previous encounters. The candidates were mobile, as were the cameras. And McCain, for reasons of age and injuries and height, has a less commanding physical presence than Obama.
Nothing McCain did tonight changed a thing. He’s done. This race is now the 2008 version of Clinton vs. Dole. And you know how well that turned out for the Republicans.
The silver lining: Obama and the Democrats are going to own this godawful mess. And the conservative movement can clear the deadwood out of the way, and start to rebuild itself into a credible force.