CNN's polling scored it 51-36 for Biden; CBS' undecided voters said 46-21 in the same direction. Frank Luntz's focus group called it for Palin.
Expectations can be glorious things: "Sarah Palin was supposed to fall off the stage at her vice presidential debate Thursday evening. Instead, she ended up dominating it," Politico's Roger Simon writes.
An important turn: Palin "used humor in seeking to deflect Biden's criticisms as backward-looking partisanship that she said gave voters little idea of how he and Obama would govern," Bloomberg's Ken Fireman and Kristin Jensen write.
If you're looking for a pivot point . . . "She had passed the biggest test any vice presidential candidate faces -- a test the media was ready to declare she'd failed. Was she capable of being vice president? Based on her debate performance, the answer was yes," Fred Barnes writes in The Weekly Standard.
Palin connected with "winks -- and folksy language," ABC's Kate Snow reported on "Good Morning America" Friday. "There was only one real show of emotion . . . Joe Biden was talking about being a single parent after his first wife died."
Biden owned the emotional core, and: "Palin did not respond to Biden's emotional display, instead offering a variation of a line she used throughout the night. 'People aren't looking for more of the same,' she said," the Los Angeles Times' Cathleen Decker and Michael Finnegan report.
Biden's "Bridge to Nowhere" line on healthcare was whipped into a quickie national cable ad.
Praise, of a sort: "Sarah Palin's high-energy performance in the vice-presidential debate was the most glaring demonstration -- since George W. Bush's performances in 2000 -- of how little you can get away with knowing and still survive one of these things, especially if the rules limit the cross-examination as severely as they did in this debate," Time's Joe Klein writes. "Her relentless opacity was impressive."
What you bring is what you get: "Those disposed to find Palin cheerful and down-to-earth probably liked what they saw, while those who find Biden to be an appealing mix of traditional Democratic values and policy expertise probably came away impressed," Peter Canellos writes in The Boston Globe.
"What voters took away from the encounter in St. Louis -- who they thought won or lost the encounter -- probably depended a great deal on what they expected coming into it," Gerald Seib writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Astonishing on several levels: "I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let 'em know my track record also," Palin said.
Overdone (doing it all at once?): "Say it ain't so, Joe. There you go again, pointing backwards again."
"She did not prevail -- Joe Biden was too good," Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "But Palin was left standing in her spike heels after 90 minutes on the stage at Washington University, and after some of the loopy interviews she gave in the run-up to the first and only vice presidential debate, that was some accomplishment."
"Sarah Palin never looked out of her depth," Stephen Dinan writes for the Washington Times. "That's not to say she kept up with her opponent, whose three decades in the Senate helped him frame long, complex answers steeped in Washington minutiae of legislative back-and-forth, amendments and votes on final passage."