The pundits and a majority of uncommitted voters have spoken: according to them, Mitt Romney won the wonky yet substanceless snoozefest that was the first Presidential debate of 2012. We are told that Romney seemed lively, warm and aggressive, and that the President seemed distracted and defensive. Perhaps that's true. The President's neoliberal policy approach and failure to adamantly defend Social Security and progressive budget priorities didn't help. The news media certainly wants a closer horse race between the candidates for ratings, and the snap post-debate poll numbers favoring Romney will help them try to deliver that.
But for all the hype, Mitt Romney still came out the loser tonight for three reasons: