The only focus group you really needed to get the gist of how this debate turned out was the circus on MSNBC after it ended. The anchors ranged from morose to unhinged. But what about the rest of America? I flagged a few nuggets from the network’s insta-polls last night, but let’s circle back, shall we? First up is CNN, which polled 430 American adults (not likely, or even registered, voters) with a D+4 sample. So the deck was somewhat stacked to begin with. And yet:

– 67 percent said Romney won the debate, 25 percent said the same of Obama; among independents it was 75-17 (!)

– 82 percent said Romney performed better than they’d expected, 61 percent said Obama fell short of expectations.

– Mitt Romney’s favorable rating jumped to 56 percent.

– Romney led on every issue polled: The economy by 12 points, healthcare by five, taxes by nine, and the deficit by 16.

– Asked who would be the stronger leader, Mitt won 58-37; that’s a 21-point lead over the sitting president.