With just 20 days until the November 6 presidential election, Tuesday night’s debate was a crucial moment for President Barack Obama, who needs to restore momentum to his campaign following a widely panned performance during the first debate in Colorado earlier this month. His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, was deemed to have done surprisingly well in the first debate and enjoyed a jump in the polls as a result. They are now nearly on level pegging, according to the most recent polls.
Anna Fifield, the FT’s US political correspondent, is covering the debate live with Arash Massoudi in New York, with additional comments from FT colleagues. All times are EST.
23.54 It’s a wrap. Be sure to follow all our coverage of the US election coverage on FT.com.
23.45 One important electorate issue to follow as pundits analyse tonight’s debate will be women. Mr Romney’s reference to a “binder full of women” attracted a lot of attention on social media. It will be interesting to see if this saps some of Mr Romney’s recent momentum with female voters.
23.37 CNN has posted its instant poll, with 46 per cent of the respondents saying Mr Obama won the debate and 39 per cent saying Mr Romney prevailed.
23.20 The post-debate chatter on many cable channels is about the tense exchanges between the candidates. Mr Obama displayed a more aggressive side while seeking to defend his handling of the economy and national security. He became visibly emotional when discussing the recent attacks in Libya that took the lives of four Americans.
23.08 Here’s a instant poll from CBS News taken just after the debate concluded:
22.54 Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, the FT’s media editor, points us to the Twitter Government (@gov) account, which shows what a big night on social media the debate has produced.
22.50 Speaking on ABC, conservative commentator George Will says that “both men tip-toed right up to the point of rudeness” and says that this was the best debate he’s ever seen — and he has seen many across his long career.
22.45 Here’s the verdict from Ed Luce, our chief US political commentator:
22.42 As the debate ends, the candidates are joined on stage by their wives — both in hot pink outfits — and are mingling with the audience. Read more