Howard Fineman or Rich Lowry? “Beginning a year ago, the Obama campaign’s central, and negative, plan was to make Romney an unacceptable alternative. The Obama campaign and its allies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the effort, and have spent most of their time attacking Romney on everything from Bain Capital and his tax returns to Seamus the dog and the elevator in his splendid new garage. Arguably, the Obama campaign put Romney in a hole that took him months to climb out of, but climb out he has. His ‘favorables’ are finally on the plus side and are approaching those of the president.”

Rasmussen or Pew? On the VP debate: “Among independents, 50% say Ryan did better, 39% say Biden.”

The Atlantic or American Spectator? “Before the first presidential debate, President Obama was riding high in the polls. Now, he finds himself tied or even behind Mitt Romney, both nationally and in key states. But what happened may not be as simple as simply a good debate for Romney and a bad one for Obama. The president was showing signs of weakness before the two candidates met up in Denver — everyone was just too distracted by a run of terrible news for Romney to take notice.”

The New Republic or the National Review? “Two weeks after the first presidential debate and on the eve of the second, it is clear that Mitt Romney’s surge is more than an evanescent bump. He has moved into the lead in the national poll of polls (something John Kerry never quite managed despite his victory in the first 2004 debate), and a number of swing states have shifted in his direction.”

Chuck Todd or Brit Hume? “You know, for Romney, this is the debate where he could win this election. He could blow up the stereotype that he, you know, can’t interact with people, doesn’t, you know, have that sort of Bill Clinton gene in him where he knows exactly the right time to put an arm around somebody, exactly the right time to connect with somebody.”

Dana Milbank or George Will? “How can [Sen. Harry] Reid tackle major issues in Congress if he’s wasting energy on parochial squabbles?”

Fox or CNN? “I’ve ridden in a lot of buses and planes next to Candy Crowley in campaigns past. She knows [the candidates]. She’s well-mannered. She’s polite. She’s a consummate pro. If the candidates try to spin these questions out, she has said on her air that she will try to draw out more specificity on behalf of American voters.”