The international press believes that US Senator John Kerry has established himself as a serious contender in the presidential race, following what many see as his narrow victory in the last of three debates with incumbent George W Bush.
But commentators are less certain that Mr Kerry will triumph in the race itself.
There is always a magic moment, in the story of the US presidential campaign, when Pinocchio becomes a real child and breaks free from the electoral shell. The three face-to-face debates... freed a man depicted as a puppet by the propaganda. Kerry won the battle he had to win, which was not to defeat Bush but to come across as a potential president.
Italy's La Repubblica
On the whole, the US public seem to agree that Kerry won the last debate.
Indonesia's Jawa Pos
Kerry's performance was better than that of Bush.
Beijing's Renmin Wang
The Democrat candidate was able to convince many Americans that the current incumbent lied about the war and failed to plan for the post-war period.
France's Le Monde
Kerry's statements were brief and sharp, and he put forward simple proposals using clear language. He also managed to shake off the image of the vague, opportunistic, professional politician that the Republican propaganda machine lumbered him with.
Il Corriere della Sera
This was by far George W Bush's best debate after the poor showing in Miami and the average performance in St Louis... [but Kerry] imposed himself as the more credible candidate.
Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Kerry certainly benefited more from the debates than Bush.
Switzerland's Tribune De Geneve
Kerry did not destroy Bush or knock him out, which could have decided the outcome of the presidential election on 2 November. But his performance was quite convincing and fully achieved the desired effect.
Commentary by Oleg Komotskiy in Russia's Novyye Izvestiya
The polls indicate that Kerry won it, but it remains to be seen whether this advantage is translated into votes on 2 November... If the rest of the world was voting it would clearly vote for Kerry.
Spain's El Pais
Even though John Kerry has won the three debates, it does not mean George W Bush now has a smaller chance of winning the election. The most decisive moment in the election is still three weeks away.
The Republicans also triumphed since George Bush came out better in this debate - as he did in the second one, which was considered a draw - than during the first round.
Commentary by Marcin Gadzinski in Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza
George Bush failed. At no time did he land any real blows against his opponent, put him in difficulty, or deliver one of these replies which strikes home, remains in the memory and sways the undecided.
France's France Inter Radio website
Bush was in a disadvantageous position: he could only speak of what his administration had actually done, while Kerry was free to promise the moon, which he did.
Commentary by Vissarion Sisnev in Russia's Trud
Both had weaker moments. The president clearly avoided voicing his opinion on the issue of raising a minimal wage by changing the subject. Kerry, at times, was too persistent in correcting statements concerning his senatorial career.
Commentary by Piotr Gillert in Poland's Rzeczpospolita
What will happen on 2 November is a mystery... The final will be a heart-stopper, not suitable for people who love certainties and safe predictions.
Anybody who likes to flatter themselves that we focus on issues, while US politics is all about personalities, would have been brought up short by three debates... [which] were a testament to the openness and depth of the US political system, and a corrective to those who argue that Americans are politically apathetic and disengaged - a view that simply does not square with 60-plus million voters tuning in to a detailed policy discussion.
Australia's The Australian
Contrary to what many feared, the three televised debates... were of good quality and proved useful to establish the difference between the two men.
France's Le Monde
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