Romney Needs To Build On Strong Performance In First Debate

While Republican candidate Mitt Romney dominated Wednesday night's first U.S. presidential debate, he must bring that energy to the next round amid an election where he is trailing President Barack Obama in the polls, analysts said Thursday.

Romney's unexpected strong performance in the debate breathed new life into his campaign, but he must continue to build on his victory, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said.

"This was a good start, but Romney's got a long way to go," O'Connell said. "He's got to keep going, keep selling himself as a principled but practical candidate who is willing to work across party lines to fix America's problems."

Boding well for the challenger is that 67 percent of viewers said Romney won the face-off, according to a CNN poll. No candidate has topped the 60 percent mark since that question was first asked in 1984, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

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Analysis & Political Strategy