Most analysts (according to the AP) praised the format of the debate last night. Their verdict was that it was conducive to being information heavy and solidifying contrasts.
Originally Posted by sew and sew
Yes, but Lehrer did a poor job enforcing the parameters of the debate.

That said, I don't fault Romney for violating the rules - pushing the boundaries is an integral part of debate strategy. And Obama didn't lose because of the format, or because Lehrer was a pushover. He lost because he failed to capitalize on a host of opportunities, including Romney's inconsistencies, distortions and outright falsehoods.