"It's really rare that we see this close a contest where you end up having a vice presidential debate that could have an impact that could be significant... This is really, I think, a very unique contest," said University of Arkansas Political Science Professor Andrew Dowdle.
Dowdle believes seeing both candidates in the spotlight had a significant influence on the public interest in the debate.
"That's usually the key in terms of whether this is going to have a long lasting impact... This is really a wide open contest. I don't think there really is a favorite."
In elections past, vice presidential debates have not received much interest. University of Arkansas Journalism Professor Hoyt Purvis thinks the close presidential race is a game-changer.
"It might serve to increase the enthusiasm for Obama supporters or for Romney supporters one way or another, because they want to see their ticket do well... Had it not been for the fact that the race is very tight, given the fact that we've got baseball games and football games and other things probably not that many people would be watching. I suspect that many more will be watching."
Although many Northwest Arkansas voters tuned in for the debate, the majority most likely were not swayed on Thursday night.
"Even though people may pretty much have their minds made up about how they're going to vote, I still think there's a pretty high level of interest in this area in the debate... They've come to play a really important role in presidential politics."
And Purvis understands the draw of an unpredictable debate.
"Let's face it, there's a certain amount of entertainment level here. We're talking about something very, very serious...but at the same time we'd like to see how it all plays out and what the dynamics are."