A study of the debate suggests that the two candidates were more aggressive than in 2008, when Obama debated Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in front of the same moderator.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University counted a total of 30 times that Obama and Romney interrupted Lehrer this week. Obama and McCain, in their first debate, interrupted him just 10 times.
The media research unit also assessed how often Lehrer asked open-ended questions for information, versus “challenge” questions that demanded the candidates sharpen the distinctions between them. Seven of the 27 questions Wednesday were challenge questions — 26% of the total, compared with 21% challenge questions in 2008.