(cross-posted at dKos)
Some thoughts from the perspective of a young evangelical Christian who long ago told the Republicans to go fly a kite ...
Overall, I have to call this a draw. Obama couldn't have handled himself better, and judging by the amount of applause probably got a few people off the fence. However, McCain may well have won some people over as well.
It became blatantly obvious early on that McCain had been preparing for this for a long time. He knew that evangelicals haven't exactly been sold on him, though I suspect just enough are holding their noses and supporting him to keep Obama from pulling away in the polls the way it seems he's doing in the Electoral College count. That being said, however, it seemed to me like was looking for the right words to say--the right buttons to push. And it seemed to work--these born-agains may not be as hidebound as others, but this is still Orange County we're talking about. It kind of surprised me, as one reason McCain hasn't won over the evangelical crowd is that he hasn't really talked much about his conversion experience. That's a bigger deal than most of you may think ... when you've become a born-again Christian, it's taken for granted that you're able to talk about your conversion experience without hesitation.
By contrast, Obama didn't need to prepare--he looked like he was in his element. Talk about a role reversal, folks ... a Democrat more comfortable in an evangelical church than a Republican. The closest thing I saw to a curveball was when Warren asked Obama about his views on abortion. Well, granted, it wasn't totally unexpected given the setting, but that early?
I haven't had a chance to talk to any of my friends to see if they watched it ... but then again, a sizable number of them aren't voting for Obama anyway (quite a few of them buy into the "He's a Muslim!" crap).