1. Derogatorily dubbing your incredibly accomplished opponent as "Mittens" and deriding him as a gaffe machine may result in disillusionment.
Agree or disagree with his policies and rhetoric, Mitt Romney is an extremely formidable and capable human being. He has run a state, the Salt Lake City Olympics, many successful businesses and even a branch of the LDS church. He has a joint JD-MBA from Harvard. He pays more money in yearly taxes than most of us will make in a lifetime. He did not get to where he is by accident, no more than George W. Bush did. Persistent refusal to recognize the strengths of their political opponents may make liberal pundits and partisans feel smugly superior, but it also sets them up for disappointment when the opponent lives up to their real-world record rather than their MSNBC caricature. (An admirable exception to this epistemic closure on Romney's competence is James Fallows, whose Atlantic cover story on the debates looks quite prophetic the morning after.)
2. Liberal panic that Obama lost the election on this single debate performance is the new Obamacare lost on oral arguments.
Remember Jeffrey Toobin's on-air implosion after Solicitor General Don Verrilli's poor showing at the Supreme Court health care constitutionality hearings? That sort of overreaction to a single data point in a much more complicated story could be observed last night on MSNBC, over at Andrew Sullivan's, and in other pro-Obama quarters. In truth, elections and Supreme Court cases hinge on many factors, and often not the ones that are most media-friendly (e.g. court briefs for cases, the economy for elections). What you see on TV isn't what determines the outcome. Moreover, in the case of the presidential debates, this one--domestic issues--was bound to be Obama's weakest, given the state of the economy and Romney's carefully cultivated Mr. Fix It persona. By contrast, the president has a much better record on foreign policy and is more suited than the formal Romney to the upcoming town hall debate. Liberal pundits claiming their candidate "may just have lost the election" need to calm down (and consult a few polls).
3. Mormonism works.
As you may have heard, many Mormons took it upon themselves to fast in Romney's merit, hoping to procure divine assistance for their co-religionist on debate night. Clearly, it paid off. Whether the faithful can repeat this feat in the coming weeks remains to be seen. But one way or the other, score one for the Mormon Moment™.