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DANVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Joe Biden and Paul Ryan teed up pointed arguments on the economy, social policy and America's place in the world that President Barack Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney now will drive forward into the campaign's final stretch.
With throngs of people already voting, Obama and Romney will try to answer questions that their running mates posed to the tens of millions of Americans who watched Thursday's hard-fought vice-presidential debate.
Biden, eager to make up for Obama's lackluster performance in his first debate with Romney, played the aggressor throughout.
Ryan came back at the vice president with harsh talking points, a flurry of statistics and a sharp economic warning that Obama will raise taxes on middle class Americans.
Following the debate, both sides hit the spin room. The contentious tone of the debate was a hot topic. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said,"Even on differing sides of the aisle, reasonable people could watch tonight and see a pretty disrespectful vice president. This is a serious conversation we're trying to have tonight." He continued, "I don't know if he (Biden) took it seriously or not. But that aside, Paul Ryan is better than the V. P. on substance. On style he's a little strained."
Kentucky's democratic Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson said it was clear that Biden won the debate. "I think this was a situation where the vice president came across as a professor. Ryan came across as a student." He said every time the "student" didn't do his homework, the "professor" spoke up.
The big question is whether the number two men on the ticket were able to seal the deal with American voters. U.S. Representative John Yarmuth says it Biden did well, but it's still President Barack Obama's responsibility to prove himself to the public. The third district Democrat said "Joe Biden cannot sell Barack Obama. Barack Obama has to sell himself. It's his responsibility over the next two debates. But Yarmuth said Biden did a great job putting energy back into the campaign.
Voters go to the polls November 6th, but U. S. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell says feedback at this point is critical. " The polls that are taken after these debates are the best evidence of whether or not you've moved numbers. The Kentucky Republican says "there's no question the debate last week did." McConnell says there's no question the first presidential debate was a "game-changer."
Debate watchers are calling the matchup a draw. A CNN poll shows 48 percent of voters think Ryan won the showdown. Forty-four percent gave the win to Joe Biden.
There are two more presidential debates between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney. The next one on October 16th will be a town hall format focusing on a range of issues. The last one on October 22nd will focus exclusively on foreign policy.