Democratic-leaning pollster John Zogby declared GOP challenger Mitt Romney the winner over President Obama in the first presidential debate Wednesday night.

"Mitt won big tonight. Obama got digs in on lack of details but Romney came out to play hard," Zogby tweeted in comments echoed by many analysts. "We've got a horserace," said CNN analyst David Gergen.

"Pres. not looking sharp tonight. Mitt clarifying, perhaps changing, positions, but Mitt is in charge thus far," said Zogby.

Zogby later told Secrets, "Romney was aggressive but not mean. He was substantive and articulate, and very clear. He was in charge all night; Obama was forced on the defensive and seemed to stammer at times. Romney got to explain his positions and principles all in one performance. He showed a mastery of the economy, of taxes, of health care -- and was comfortable, presidential, and even likable. He was personal and human. We haven't seen any of that before."