Polls taken after the debates by television channels suggested that voters favored Biden over Palin, even though her performance greatly exceeded expecations. I thought she appeared noticeably older, i.e. different hairstyle, darker makeup & suit. In all her other media appearances, she usually looks brighter/younger (especially when paired with McCain).

CNN was running a viewer response line for a focus group of uncommitted voters in Ohio at the bottom of the TV screen. The idea of people turning a dial to record their position on a “happiness scale” in real-time was amusing to watch throughout the debates.

Post-debate commentary:

Who won the VP debate: Palin or Joe Biden? via the Telegraph:
Opinion was split over who won the vice-presidential debate between the Republican Sarah Palin and the Democrat Joe Biden, after neither managed to land a knock-out blow.

Vice President debate outdraws Presidential debate via MarketWatch:
Debate between Biden, Palin draws 42% larger audience in major markets

Palin beat expectations in debate, voters say via Reuters:
…viewers almost universally said Palin held her own against Biden in Thursday’s debate.

On Palin & Biden’s debating history:

This is a great read:
What It’s Like to Debate Sarah Palin by Andrew Halcro
“I’ve debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she’s a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do…”

Flowchart by Aden Nak.

Unofficial transcripts of most presidential and vice presidential debates are available on this site