Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Joe Biden and Paul Ryan instantly leaped into assaults on each others' platforms at Thursday night's vice presidential debate, but determining the victor may not have been as clear cut as the first presidential debate.

TheStreet spoke to experts from various fields to gauge who they thought won the debate. TheStreet also looked at what pundits and journalists said in other media outlets. Here's what they all had to say in their own words.

Michael Goldman, Democratic operative in Massachusetts:

"You look at debates and you try to figure out what was the goal when they came in? The goal, I think, of Ryan was to not try and seem extreme. I think the goal of the vice president was to try and say to Ryan be specific. ... Biden dramatized over and over again the lack of specifics in a number of key areas -- particularly the tax plan. Once again Ryan obviously couldn't define it. ... I think the Democrats are going to be very happy tonight in the sense that they had somebody who went out there and was aggressive in terms of sending the president's agenda in a way that they didn't think the president did. ... I thought sometimes Ryan looked like a kid against him, but that's not his fault, because he is much younger. "

Patrick McSweeney, former Virginia Republican Party chairman:

"I thought it started off poorly for Biden with Libya, there's nothing he could do to salvage that. .... He did very well on Afghanistan I thought. ... I think his good points were undermined by his behavior. I don't think Joe can help himself. His tactic on taxes and the economy I thought might have worked with people who are inclined to believe the Obama-Biden way in the first place. I think he probably roused his base, but I was unsatisfied with both answers, answers from both on the economy and taxes. Ryan had an opening, but he didn't take advantage of it until his closing. ... Their discussion about military cuts left me terribly confused, and I think I know the facts but I think the two of them left me entirely befuddled. ... Ryan's best point he saved for the last. ... He finally talked about things that I think he was brought on the ticket to dramatize, which is bold alternatives to the Obama policies and directions."

Roy Schwartzman, professor of communication studies at UNC Greensboro:

"There's this amazing pattern that the person that people think wins happens to be the candidate that they support. Most people approach debates with a heavy confirmation bias; that is, the way that these debates really tend to be processed is for people who are relatively decided, even moderately committed. It winds up being a case where they can reinforce the decision they believe they're going to make. ... The debates themselves are less about the issues than the issues that might activate people's value systems. What they're really arguing for is a certain set of values. ... For Biden, what he did is he got the discussion back on track for Democrats to the fundamental value of fairness, and the idea here is that by the beginning of the third question Biden brings up the 47% comment. ... And so his basic appeal was the story of populism. ... Ryan really was trying to activate the same sort of thing Mitt Romney has been doing. They're largely taking a page out of the Ronald Reagan playbook. ... The change that Ryan articulated pretty well tonight and Mitt Romney has been articulating is what I call a back-to-the-future strategy -- change, but change to a restoration of a traditional kind of Reagan-like idea of American exceptionalism."