Winner: Mitt Romney
Scores: Obama 72 | Romney 81
Judge: Neill Harvey-Smith
A clear win. Mitt Romney grew in confidence and succeeded in putting across a moderate, bi-partisan image. Overall, Romney made clearer contrasts, conveyed greater passion and used better examples and metaphors to shine light into the bog of numbers.
Barack Obama explained, explained, explained in long, broken sentences, delivered with a curious lack of energy. His best moments were on Medicare, when talking about his grandmother briefly brought the President to life. Obama said little about his own plans for the future, instead justifying the past and criticising Romney. By the end, he was snippy, recklessly inviting us to imagine Romney having a busy first day in the Presidency.
Romney explained and also illustrated, using real-life examples and analogies to bring his ideas to life. He broke up and numbered his points, making his delivery punchier and easier to follow. On the role of government, on healthcare, on education, he was highly fluent.