If President Trump entered the debate trailing in most battleground states, as I believe he did, his performance served him poorly. I can’t believe he won over a single persuadable voter.Trump’s performance must also have cemented the negative perceptions held by voters who have turned against him. He carried his do not go gentle into that good night mode to wild excess. Perhaps it was President Trump who needed pharmaceutical assistance to dial it back. As it happened, I thought Trump interrupted Biden on a few occasions when a Biden brain freeze was in progress.
It's fair to say that what appeals to a lot of conservatives like me is that Trump is not a wishy-washy McCain or a milquetoast Romney; he gets out there and fights. But four years of this is exhausting and I can see how the persona that worked so well as an outsider can turn against him as President. Trump didn't do himself a lot of favors, including interrupting Biden when he was in the midst of bad response.
Also: you'd think by now Trump would amply understand that the press is solidly aligned against him. This was his opportunity to cut through the bias and directly contradict Biden's many lies. But he didn't counter the phony Atlantic story until a couple minutes later when he raised Biden's "stupid bastards" comment. He failed to push back at the moment and gave repetitive replies when he would have been better served by strategic jabs.
Make no mistake, I thought Biden was terrible as Andrew Sullivan noted: "I’ve never seen Biden seem so old or so weak. He can’t land a strong blow. He’s being successfully heckled." But if you're a voter looking to move past the high drama and return to some normality, Trump added fuel to your fatigue.