John McCain turned in his best debate performance last night but couldn't turn it into the game-changer he needed, Sam Youngman writes in The Hill. McCain was fiercer this time, but he failed to score a direct hit on his unflappable opponent and didn't come up with any new arguments for himself—or against Barack Obama, Youngman notes.
Bringing up "Joe the Plumber" was the Republican's best move, but it likely won't change the course of the race. "McCain needed a decisive win," Youngman concludes. "Instead, he might have just cemented the status quo, leaving Obama with little more to do than run out the clock and turn out his voters."