Kerry Campaign Proclaims Kerry's Debate Victory

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - The Kerry-Edwards campaign has rounded up debate reviews from people on both sides of the political spectrum, in an effort to show that Sen. John F. Kerry "won" the first presidential debate.

In a post-debate press release, the Kerry campaign points to various "instant" polls suggesting that Kerry won by a big margin.

Asked who won the debate, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Polls gave the victory to Kerry, 53-37 percent; A CBS poll said Kerry beat Bush 44-26 percent, while 30 percent declared the debate a tie; and an ABC News poll said Kerry won, 45-36 percent, with 17 percent declaring a tie.

However, political analysts note that instant polling in 2000 showed Al Gore won the debate with President Bush; in 1992, instant polling showed Independent candidate Ross Perot won; and in 1984, instant polling showed Democrat Walter Mondale won the presidential debate.

The Kerry campaign also quoted the following pundits, analysts and all-around talking heads, as follows:

Mort Kondracke: "This is the President's turf, this is the place that the President is supposed to dominate, terror and the war in Iraq. I don't think he really dominated tonight. I think Kerry looked like a commander-in-chief."

Kate O'Beirne, National Review Online's the Corner: "I thought the president was repetitive and reactive."

Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's the Corner: "The Bush campaign miscalculated on having the first night be foreign policy night."

Bob Schieffer: "The president was somewhat defensive in the beginning"

Mark Shields: "The president showed a few times obvious anger"

Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard: "I think Kerry did pretty well tonight, he was forceful and articulate."

Bob Schieffer: "Kerry got off to a very good start."

Joe Scarborough: "It was John Kerry's best performance ever...As far as the debate goes, I don't see how anybody could look at this debate and not score this a very clear win on points for John Kerry." (MSNBC)

Andrea Mitchell: "This is the toughest we've ever seen John Kerry. He attacked the very core of the President's popularity. He's basically saying, who do you believe?" (MSNBC)

Tim Russert: "Tonight he seemed to find his voice for the Democratic view of the world."

Fred Barnes on FNC: "Kerry did very well and we will have a presidential race from here on out."

On Friday, Sen. Kerry will attend campaign rallies in Tampa and Orlando, where he will "talk about his plan to move the country in a new direction after four years of wrong choices by George W. Bush," the campaign said in a statement.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.