Who do you think won? That question is asked after every presidential debate, and debates for lesser offices. Americans are competitive creatures. We have to have a winner.

Ties are not accepted. Got to have a winner!

Talk to Democrats and they will tell you President Obama won the debate Wednesday night. Talk to Republicans and they will tell you that Mitt Romney won. Talk to independents and they will tell you it was a tossup, with no clear winner.

The fact of the debate is that both candidates scored points. It also is a fact that both candidates stretched the truth a bit and fired misleading verbal rounds.

President Obama came out charging in trying to overcome his earlier debate defeat. He wanted to show he can be forceful. He was. He also had better makeup on. He didn’t look as tired and worn out as in the first debate.

Challenger Romney was on the attack again, and he didn’t back down. He showed a toughness also.

Both candidates were primed for the debate. Both were about as prepared as one can be. Neither is perfect. Both showed a few weaknesses. They were combative.

We got a kick out of CNN’s Candy Crowley, who we had never heard of before. We don’t watch CNN much. Candy didn’t back down from the president when he wanted to keep speaking and on one occasion, the president had that look of, “You don’t talk that way to me, I’m the president,” when Candy told him to back off.

The president has a problem. He doesn’t like to be challenged on his remarks. We’ve read from several sources that Obama’s problem is that he thinks he is smarter than anyone else, including members of his inner staff. They say he will listen to his advisers, but because he thinks he’s smarter than any of them, he doesn’t take their advice, or even listen very closely to what they say. He lives in his own little intellectual world and doesn’t like to be disturbed by people — even his inner circle — and that’s why he appears so detached at times. His mind is somewhere else. Those are the words from people who know him best.

Both candidates contended the other wasn’t telling the whole truth about the various topics and positions held. Neither looked weak, and regardless of which candidate you favor, you have to concede that both were well prepared and rattled off numbers and comments on issues in rapid-fire fashion. To debate on the many national and international issues, and defending their past records is not a smooth journey.

One commentator said there hasn’t been a presidential debate like this for a long time. Perhaps in being combative that is right.

We won’t call it a tie. We say the outcome was close. That is apparently like the election is going to be — close. There are voters who will make up their minds while in the voting booths. The one question that many voters are going to answer at the polls is, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”