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Who Won?

Off the cuff, I would score it as a small victory for Trump. However, Trump needs more than a small victory.

Trump needs a crushing victory that brings in most of the undecided voters and switches a few others.

Biden's Gaffe on Energy

Right at the end of the debate, Biden volunteered I “would transition from the oil industry” because “the oil industry pollutes significantly” 

Trump pounced “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma? Ohio?”

Here's another view.

All in all Biden was more specific, told fewer lies, and was far more compassionate and caring. 

Biden scored points on the Trump administration separating over 500 kids from their parents who are now nowhere to be found. 

Trump repeated his claim he has done more for blacks than an president since Abraham Lincoln is of course ridiculous. Johnson passed civil rights and voting rights legislation. 

Trump also claimed he was the least racist person in the room. Such nonsense is highly unlikely to play well with women and blacks. 

Trump repeated lies about Biden placing a ban on fracking. 

Trump got very defensive over tax returns as Biden made a good counter to the Hunter Biden issue by bringing Trump's tax returns into play.

Trump was most effective when he challenged Biden repeatedly about not accomplishing anything when he was vice president.

Biden admitted he made a mistake on legislation that resulted in higher black incarceration. 

Yes Biden made a mistake but that bill passed the Senate unanimously. Admitting mistakes is the smart thing to do.

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Opportunity Missed

Trump left a huge opening for Biden on prison incarceration. 

Biden should have asked "What have you done in 4 years to change drug laws that throw mainly blacks in prison over marijuana?" 

That could have been a telling blow.  

Votes Already Cast

Over 50 million people have already voted. They did not care one bit about this debate.

Will it change minds? If so, why?

The most likely impact is not many, or at least not enough.

It's "possible" the public sees more than I do one way or another. But that does go both ways.  

What Does Win Mean?

The bar was set low for Biden in the first and low for Trump in the second.

A theme I heard for months from Republicans was "Just wait for the debates. Trump will kill him. Biden has dementia."

The debates are over. The first was an obvious disaster for Trump. I will watch the polls on this one.

In neither debate did Biden come across as someone with dementia.

Realistically, if this final debate does not change enough minds, Biden won, even if the referees (the overall public) claim Trump landed more punches.

Mish