"I think that Governor Romney is certainly a skilled debater. And last night he was able to elevate his level of performance. But he did not change the fundamental dynamics of this race, nor did he change some of the policies that actually got us into the economic mess that we have," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a top surrogate for Obama, told CNN.
Both candidates have their work cut out for them heading into the next presidential debate October 16 in New York at Hofstra University. The town hall format is one that could easily trip both candidates, debate experts say.
In town halls, Obama tends to sound too professorial and Romney runs the risk of coming off as stiff, Wade said. The unpredictable nature of the questions also sometimes throws candidates, she said.
"The danger of the town hall is that you're getting them from the audience," Wade said. "The way the questions are asked are not the way they are in practiced debates because these are from people not policy experts."