On the whole it was a train wreck. Romney lied, condescended, and generally acted like the privileged prick that he is. Obama tried to have an actual discussion based on previously stated positions or the lack thereof. To the extent that this tactic failed, which I am not sure it did, it failed because Romney lied and acted like a privileged prick.
I suspect that most people watching the debate decided that Romney is a privileged and lying prick and that Obama did he best he could trying to pierce the squid ink. As evidence I offer the always wrong Andrew Sullivan's analysis.