Your candidate did not win the first debate in Denver. In a real presidential debate, the two candidates come face to face to debate their policies. In Denver this did not happen, however, because your candidate, Mitt Romney, did not argue in favor of his policies. What he did instead was undermine the whole meaning of debate by presenting a fictional set of policy initiatives that do not correspond to his actual agenda.
With verve and passion, Romney defended the policies of a fictional candidate, a candidate that doesn't even exist in this election. What does this say for what transpired on the stage? In a very basic sense, the first debate did not even meet the minimum requirements of what constitutes a debate.
Of course it is common in debates to stretch truth or deploy rhetorical devices to strengthen one's position or bash the other side. But a healthy democracy recognizes limits to such rhetorical performance. It is understood that on the stage one must still be buttressing one's real policy agenda; it is assumed that one will not lie blatantly about fact after fact, especially when the facts in question are a matter of public record and easily checked. To ignore these basic limits and enter debate with the intention to misrepresent oneself to the degree Romney did in Denver--to actually impersonate a nonexistent candidate--is not a strategy to "win" voters over to one's side; it is rather a strategy to make a sham of the process itself. It is disrespectful of American democracy as such and cheapens our political system for all who participate.
Yes, there were probably many viewers that were swayed by Romney's performance. This, however, is only to say that there are many viewers who don't know the facts behind the discussion. These people were, in other words, not so much Americans being convinced by Mitt Romney as they were Americans being shamelessly cheated by him.
If Romney chose not to argue for his actual policies in the Denver debate, one of course might ask why. Is he maybe ashamed of these policies? Perhaps he is ashamed of them and perhaps he should be. Instead of showing America his real self, Romney raised up a smoke and mirrors self, "Mitt Romney Version 9.0," a candidate dropped in from nowhere and eager to fight for things the real Mitt Romney has repeatedly told us he will not fight for. Many viewers liked this 9.0 Version. What does that prove?
How can we explain Obama's disengaged performance in this debate? It is still something of a mystery. Some have speculated that the president was so thrown off by this clownish debate partner, this Romney 9.0, that he couldn't muster an effective response (see Gish Gallup). In hindsight, perhaps the best thing Obama could have done faced with such shameless farce would have been to turn to his opponent at about the halfway mark and say: "I came here tonight to present the American people with my idea of the next four years and to contrast it to the ideas put forth by my Republican opponent. In other words I came here to debate Mitt Romney. Who the hell are you?"