Abrupt switch to abortion, with narrow framing of how candidates’ Catholicism affected views.

* Ryan off to the races w/personal story. Makes Romney policy sound moderate. And now switches to “religious liberty.”

* Biden does pretty good job on abortion, including zinger on Ryan’s past position on exceptions.

* Glad Biden mentioned Supreme Court, and was reasonably clear.

* Final, kind of ridiculous, question about troops being disappointed in tone of campaign sets up Biden to talk about his son.

* Ryan goes small-ball and panders on defense cuts, then goes large with well-rehearsed attack on Obama promises. Pure campaign talking-points gold. Biden needs good closer.

* Good hammer on Ryan Budget; must have saved it for end. Raddetz cut off Ryan’s response.

* “Character” question: Ryan crows about honesty, which is kind of hilarious.

* Biden boils message down as much as any low-information voter could possibly ask for.

* Biden closing statement: back to 47%, 30%, sounds a little gassed, looking down.

* Ryan closing statement: same-old, same-old referendum on Obama rap, well-delivered. Nice dog whistle to “constitutional conservatives” that most others could not have possible heard.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.