UW-Eau Claire Forensics assistance coach Kelly Jo Wright evaluated both candidates as having strong performances. She says both men stepped beyond their stereotypes to give voters a better idea of their ticket as a whole, but she says they didn't sway swing voters, only enforced supporters.
The set-up of the debate, says Wright, made the character attacks seem worse than they really were. "It seems a lot more personal because of the close proximity to each other," says Wright. "If the same things had been said and they were across the state behind podiums, I don't think it would have come across as quite personal."
Wright gave points to Edwards for his direct eye contact with the moderator the majority of the time, but said Cheney did well with his controlled and relaxed demeanor.