Interesting: ABC News quotes their instant response poll as saying Cheney won by an 8% margin. I am having somewhat of a hard time believing that: I thought Edwards' performance was pretty impressive. But perhaps my partisan instincts coloured my judgement.
Cheney started off well; he performed particularly well in the first half an hour of the debate. Yet it felt to me like Edwards had the better answers for the last hour- more eloquent, better on substance. Cheney seemed uncharacteristically lost. His silence on gay marriage did not pass over well; his inability to engage Edwards' Halliburton charges no doubt damaged him. More importantly, Edwards' message simply reasonated: given the poorly performing American economy and the constant stream of bad news on Iraq, Cheney's efforts to paint an optimistic face fell short.
By the way: what kind of a dumb question is, "John Kerry comes from the state of Massachusetts, which has taken as big a step as any state in the union to legalize gay marriage. Yet both you and Senator Kerry say you oppose it. Are you trying to have it both ways?"
UPDATE: On the other hand, CBS had Edwards at 41 and Cheney at 28 among undecided voters. Interesting to see what the later polls say.
BY THE WAY: Speaking of dumb questions, "You both just sang the praises of the tops of your ticket. Without mentioning them by name at all explain to us why you are different from your opponent?" Without mentioning their names? What is this, first grade?