Donald Trump is the winner of the first presidential debate simply by surviving.  Hillary Clinton was expected by many to deliver a fatal knock out blow to Trump, or at least deliver a few body slams, but was unable to.  By virtue of that failure Clinton actually lost the debate.

Scoring the debate from a technical standpoint you could call it an even draw.  Neither candidate broke new ground nor did they persuade the undecided to move in their direction.  The candidates were able to sure up their base support but that's about it. Anyone looking for more than that was probably disappointed.

In terms of content, Trump had a command  of the issues, cornering Clinton on NAFTA and trade in general, ISIS, her inability to affect change during her long tenure in Washington.  Clinton scored on peripheral matters such as  the so-called "birther" issue and Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.  She also resorted to childlike tattletales  at the end of the debate with her list of names Trump has allegedly used to describe various women.  None of these things matter with the voters and in fact Clinton has spent tens of millions on TV ads hitting Trump on those same themes only to see her once double digit lead erode as a result.

Clinton further erred by calling Trump a racist.  Voters are sick to death of that one and she also accused Americans of systemic racism while falsely suggesting the judicial system is incarcerating blacks for crimes that whites are given a pass for.   Americans are tired of being called as racists by politicians seeking favor with the black community. Trump on the other hand addressed the lack of progress in the inner cities and the impact it continues to have on African and Hispanic Americans.  He also promised law and order and that scores big with people who are weary of the wave of violence that has engulfed our cities.

The officiating was awful in the first debate.  NBC's Lester Holt failed to ask questions that might make Clinton squirm, Benghazi, e-mails, her health, etc... yet challenged Trump at least five times, often interrupting  answers to questions he did pose.

Trump wins by surviving while Clinton loses by not winning.  Round two takes place on October 9th and the stakes are now even higher than they were entering round one.

Stay tuned!