Page last updated at 20:20 GMT, Sunday, 28 September 2008 21:20 UK

Voters' Views: Mary O'Neil

White House hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain have clashed over foreign policy and the economy in their first debate.

Here Republican and Democratic voters from across the US reflect on how the candidates performed.

Mary O'Neil Training manager | Democrat

McCain certainly did not convince me of anything positive about his campaign

Mary O'Neil
Age: 50
Lives: Denver, Colorado
Occupation: Training manager
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Forward-looking, seeking balance, life-long learner, passionate volunteer

"I think Barack Obama was much stronger. John McCain came across as patronising.

Republicans will certainly have enjoyed McCain's performance - which mostly consisted of putting out the conservative agenda and trying to make Obama look na´ve.

Conservative pundits react to this type of approach with glee and delight. In reality McCain was just restating the same old rhetoric. And his frequent condescending statements will not appeal to the bi-partisan approach most independents seek.

In contrast, Obama has a classic presidential demeanour - the kind we saw in past years before President Bush.

Obama has a greater grasp of relevant foreign policy issues than McCain. McCain can spout names and places he has visited - but his vision is mired in the politics of the Bush administration.

Barack Obama understands the need for a diplomatic approach that will begin to heal the hurt relationships we have with the world community

McCain simply did not do as well as he needed to do. He has had a bizarre week leading up to the debate and did not make up for it on Friday night. He certainly did not convince me of anything positive about his campaign."

You can add your comments and questions on Mary's views using the form below:

Your comments:

I could not agree more. McCain did come across as patronising, avoided eye-contact with Obama during the whole debate and just kept repeating his old and worn-out republican rhetoric. Even in foreign policy - a subject McCain claims to be his field of expertise - Obama managed to over shadow him.
Marlene Curtis, Fort Lauderdale, USA

I totally agree about McCain being patronising. I became increasingly irritated by Mr McCain's condescending attitude to his opponent. He really tried his very best to belittle Obama. To me, this came across as insulting and bordering on just plain nasty! Perhaps this is McCain's way of playing it because his 'experience is his only asset. He knows he cannot match Obama's intelligence, youth and integrity.
Caroline Dunn, Oregon, USA

This woman is more articulate and well-informed than Sarah Palin. What a sad state our country is in at the moment.
Anna, Bend, OR

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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