Debate Reactions and an Unlikely Star Emerges

October 16, 2008

The face to face debates are over, and there are just 19 days left to win over undecided voters.

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain met for their third and final time Wednesday night at Hofstra university in New York.

With John McCain trailing in the polls, many analysts said the Republican needed a big win last night. But several polls show most undecided voters think Barack Obama won the debate.

The Democratic nominee followed up with a new TV ad linking McCain to President Bush, but McCain's campaign quickly responded with its own ad, distancing itself from the Bush administration.

McCain put Obama on the defensive during the debate, but the host of Face the Nation and last night's moderator, Bob Schieffer says Obama stayed cool under pressure.

"I thought they both made the points they came there to make. Obama was composed, John McCain was trying to rattle him, but he didn't succeed in doing that. On the other hand I thought McCain made some good points," said Bob Schieffer.

McCain was on the offensive with healthcare and the economy for the first time.

But Obama has the upper hand as both candidates take their message on the road. He's leading in the national polls and gaining ground in states that traditionally vote Republican.

Meanwhile, an unlikely star is emerging on the campaign trail. Joe Wurzelbacher, or Joe the Plumber, questioned Barack Obama's tax policy at a campaign stop a few days ago.

Since then, John McCain's campaign jumped on the personal story of the plumber trying to start his own business.

The candidates mentioned the plumber from Ohio over 20 times as they debated who would best help small businesses.

Joe told the press he was surprised at how often his name was mentioned.

"They were using me to make a point. I don't actually mind it as long as it makes people actually stop and think," said Wurzelbacher.

The plumber refused to say who he is voting for, but he did say that he thinks he is registered as a Republican.


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