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Polls Give Obama Win Over Romney In TV Debate
President Barack Obama reignited his re-election campaign with a much-improved performance against rival Mitt Romney in the pair's second live televised debate.
After Mr Obama's lacklustre performance in the first of three debates, most observers - backed by anecdotal instant polls - suggested the President had won Tuesday night's dual.
The early opinion polls also suggested Mr Romney had done enough to score some points and potentially maintain his momentum.
Both sides dispatched their 'surrogates' to claim victory on the morning TV shows.
And the pair's spat over Libya continued on the morning airwaves, with both sides claiming the other was not being straight with the American public.
The exchange saw the President stare directly at the Republican challenger and rebuke him over his criticism of the White House's handling of an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11, which killed four Americans.
"The suggestion that anybody on my team... would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive," Mr Obama said, wagging his finger at Romney across the stage.
"That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, not what I do as commander-in-chief."
Mr Romney attempted to hit back by accusing the President of taking days to recognise that the attack, which killed US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, was terrorism and not a protest that got out of hand.
The Republican implied Mr Obama had not labelled the attack an "act of terror" during an address he gave the day after the deaths - directly contradicting the President's account.
"Check the transcript," said Mr Obama.
CNN moderator Candy Crowley immediately confirmed the President's version of events - leaving Mr Romney stuttering awkwardly.
But polling suggests Americans would rather hear more about economic plans than foreign policy.
They got an early chance to register their opinions on the debate as Mr Obama took his campaign to the battleground states of Iowa and Ohio, while Mr Romney headed to campaign in Virginia.
Pollsters will be looking for the reaction among suburban women voters who are increasingly seen as the key demographic in this election.
Newspapers in New York, where the debate took place, suggested the president would be happier with the second head-to-head.
"Mr Obama emerged from the debate having claimed a new chance to frame the three weeks until election day," said the New York Times.
The tabloid New York Post put it more bluntly: "Hey, O shows up this time - gives as good as he gets against Mitt."
In swing state Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch said: "Obama more feisty, Romney pushes back."