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Who Won the Oct. 3 Presidential Debate?

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out in Denver, Colorado, Wednesday night, and participants in Patch's statewide liveblog were split on who came out ahead.

In a debate that centered on policy and numbers, and seemingly less on straight talking points and campaign slogans, the two candidates running for the presidency sparred over jobs, the economy and health care in the first presidential debate at the University of Denver Wednesday.

The focus of the debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney centered on domestic policy, and both candidates took shots at the nuances of each other’s methods of governance. Obama, for example, defended the Affordable Care Act while Mitt Romney argued his tax policy would not lower taxes for the wealthy.

Patch ran a CoverItLive liveblog that garnered nearly 60 people at times and fostered a lively discussion on the debate. Many readers commented that Romney won the debate, a general feeling that was shared among many pundits and analysts.

The debate drew out some comical moments, including the now-famous remark Romney made about how he would cut funding to PBS even though he told moderator Jim Lehrer (a PBS anchorman) “I love Big Bird and I actually like you.”

The remark spawned a fake Twitter handle, @FiredBigBird, which despite only tweeting 37 times since late Wednesday, has attracted more than 16,000 followers and counting.

Here are some of the reactions from our followers in the CoverItLive session on Wednesday:

Julia G:
"Obama's "race to the top" sounds eerily similar to "race to nowhere," and even worse, No Child Left Behind. If he thinks this will turn around the economy, it's worrisome."

echo: 
"There are plenty of jobs but not everyone wants to really work. They just want to make the big bucks sitting at their computers instead of actually working at a real trade."

Matty B: 
"I'm jumping in here late. Is it just me or does it seem like Romney is playing offense and Obama is on defense tonight? Look at their body language. Romney stares Obama in the eye. Obama stares at Lehrer or the floor."

Creeky: 
"College wasn't expensive until government subsidized it. Now, colleges see the fountain of money of college loans and see no reason to control costs."

Guest: 
"He's getting rid of Big Bird? Oh, and the moderator."

Clearly:
"Mitt crushed Obama; he provided specific examples, rebutted falsities that Obama spewed (Obama made no effort to soften jabs from Mitt), and showed true passion."

NoToMitt:
That is true. Was hoping to hear some actual policy ideas from Mitt instead of the same old talking in circles. But at least if he wins Jim Lehrer's losing his job.

SLG: 
"It's evident that Romney was 'well coached' to talk on point. Tonight he was SO concerned with the middle class while just a couple of weeks ago, he didn't get 2 cents for the poor/middle class and said the '47 percent' don't deserve health care. What a transparent phony. Lots of lip service without a plan (or clue) to deliver what he promises!"

GeorgePenman:
Romney will be tied to the Republican House agenda, which ought to be enough to defeat him.

Who do you think won the debate? Join the discussion in the comments section below.

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