|Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama smile at the end of their first 2012 U.S. presidential debate in Denver October 3, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Think of the presidential debates less like a boxing match, and more like a war.
Even though President Barack Obama notched up two victories in his three battles against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, it was Romney hands down who won the debates overall since his performance -- largely in the first debate -- propelled him in the polls.
Obama's wins, in New York and here Monday, were largely seen as narrow victories and more a consequence of low expectations following his abysmal performance in Denver in their first contest.
In that debate, Romney dealt the president a decisive blow from which Obama could never recover, at least in the debates.
The true test of Romney's overall win is perhaps best measured by the polls. Obama's big lead over Romney nationally and in several critical swing states has since tightened to a dead heat and is trending now towards Romney.
Those keeping score noticed Obama had more zingers, was more aggressive and even landed more punches on Romney in the final two match-ups, but by then it was already too late.
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