11 PR observations from the first presidential debate

Gov. Romney won, but will it matter come November?

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As a result, the president’s poor performance will almost inevitably change the existing media narrative from “Romney, the inevitable loser” to “Will Obama blow his lead?”

Below, you’ll find 11 brief takeaways from Wednesday night’s debate. My focus here is on image and delivery; before you dismiss such an analysis as shallow for not focusing on content, it’s important to realize that undecided and low-information voters consistently use such measurements to make their voting decisions.

Here are 11 takeaways from tonight:

1. Romney looked prosecutorial; Obama looked professorial.

2. Romney exhibited strong energy without appearing overly aggressive; Obama bordered on soporific, as if this was just another daily briefing.

3. Romney played offense; Obama remained on defense through much of the night.

4. Romney looked Obama in the eye during attacks; Obama addressed the camera—when he wasn’t looking nowhere in particular instead.

5. Romney spoke in a confident and fluid style; Obama’s speech was cluttered with dozens (if not hundreds) of distracting “uhhhs” and “ummms.”

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