Strangely enough, most individual seem to think it was quite close, but the polls show a rather strong preference for Obama.
CNN post-debate poll:
Who did the best job in the debate?
Barack Obama 51
John McCain 38
Who would better handle Iraq?
Barack Obama 52
John McCain 47
Who would better handle the economy?
Barack Obama 58
John McCain 37
CBS Insta Poll:
CBS Insta Poll shows Barack Obama won 39% to John McCain's 25% with 36% saying the debate was a draw.
Insider Advantage reports those polled Obama won 42% to McCain's 41% with Undecided 17%
CNN reports voter opinions that Obama "did better" 51%, McCain "did better" 38%
The CNN poll showed men were evenly split, but women gave Obama higher marks 59% to 41% for McCain.
One thing I wish the left would do is work to lower expectations. I'm surprised that Obama is viewed as doing as well as he did because people EXPECTED him to - he's obviously a better public speaker - and debate results are often decided by contrast with expectations. I.e., if Obama is expected to wipe the floor with McCain, and they're about even, he can be perceived as losing. John McCain is a good debater; he always has been. I would much prefer that people realize this, and then are negattively surprised that he didn't look particularly good last night.