The Observer asked five undecided voters in the Carolinas to weigh in on Wednesday nights presidential debate and grade the candidates.
Their consensus: Romney won, but not by much. And neither candidate gave an A-grade performance.
A sampling of their reactions:
Eric Banks of Charlotte
Status: Unaffiliated. Voted for Republican John McCain in 2008.
Whether debate helped him decide whom to vote for: Definitely leaning towards Romney, but I want to watch the rest of the debates.
Moment or comment that most affected him: Governor Romneys statement that the national debt is a moral issue, that it is immoral to leave it to our children.
How he graded the candidates: B+ for Romney; C for Obama.
Nella Stevens of Charlotte
Status: Registered Republican. Voted for McCain in 2008.
Moment or comment that most affected her: Romneys comment that if we have to borrow $$ from China to support a social program, that it should be cut.
Most important issue to her, and which if either candidate best addressed it: Medicare vs. the idea of privatizing the healthcare system for seniors. Presented best by Obama, as I feel Romneys allowing private insurance in the arena is a little scary.
How she graded the candidates: B for Romney; C for Obama. Romney did much better than I was expecting. He stood up for his beliefs and didnt back down at all. Obama spoke very well, but he threw in the usual campaign speech rhetoric.
Greg Isaacs of Charlotte.
Status: Unaffiliated. Voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.
Whether debate helped him decide whom to vote for: Yes. It pushed me further towards 3rd party candidates.
How he graded the candidates: C+ for Romney; C for Obama. Both were average, but Romney was better spoken.
Buckley Gardner of Charlotte
Status: Unaffiliated. Voted for Obama in 2008
Whether debate helped him decide whom to vote for: Still undecided. Looking for more specifics from Romney, especially around how hed fund tax cuts and increase in military spending. That will take a lot of closed loopholes and eliminated deductions for the 1% crowd. The president seemed to be playing not to lose and didnt challenge Romney on the 47% angle, which surprised me. He may have missed an opportunity.
How he graded the candidates: B+ for Romney; B for Obama.
Vincent Lehotsky of Loris, S.C.
Status: Democrat. Voted for Green Party candidate in 2008.
Moment or comment that most affected him: Romneys statement that he does care for the middle-income class. Obamas reference that his healthcare program is based on a Republican plan the Gov. Romney state health plan.
How he graded the candidates: C for Obama; C for Romney. Compiled by Tim Funk