Flash Poll: Romney Won Presidential Debate, CA Political Insiders Largely Agree

While the verdict in our Red and Blue California survey fell mostly along party lines, even Democrats found few good things to say about Obama’s showing.

California political insiders on both sides of the spectrum came away from Wednesday night’s presidential debate underwhelmed by President Barack Obama’s performance, with more than two-thirds of respondents to a Patch survey saying Mitt Romney carried the evening.

Patch sent a quick, unscientific poll to our roster of Democratic and Republican party activists in the hours immediately following the debate; 24 Republicans and 15 Democrats responded.

Of Republicans in our poll 88 percent said Romney won the debate by a wide margin, while none dubbed Obama the winner.

“Romney was poised, calm and presidential,” one Republican said. “Obama was a deer in the headlights and looked scared.”

While 40 percent of Democratic respondents said Obama had won, a full third gave the victory to Romney, and the remaining 27 percent were neutral.

“Where was my President?! He was not present,” one Democrat lamented.

“The surge is to Romney,” said another.

Disappointment with the president’s performance didn’t stop Democrats from criticizing Romney’s lack of specific policy proposals on issues like healthcare and cutting the deficit.

“Romney doesn't even know the details of his plans. He'll find that out when he gets his marching orders from the Republican leadership when he meets with [them] after his inauguration,” a third Democrat quipped.

But Republican insiders disagreed, saying Romney was “in command” and “knew his facts and information.”

Ninety-two percent of Republicans said the debate would give a leg up to Romney’s campaign, which has struggled in recent weeks, while 60 percent of Democrats said the same of their candidate.

Respondents from both parties agreed that media pundits would crown Romney the victor.  And they found something else to agree upon, too:  the evening’s other loser.

“The loser in the debate was the moderator [PBS’s Jim Lehrer] who lost control of the format,” said one Republican, voicing an opinion also expressed by several Democrats. “However, that led to a better format of each candidate responding to the other’s statements in real time.”

The two candidates will meet again Oct. 16 in Hempstead, New York, where they’ll answer audience questions on foreign and domestic policy.

Who do you think dominated Wednesday’s debate? How do you think it will affect the election? Tell us in the comments.


The Red and Blue California Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in California. 

Patch will be conducting Red California and Blue California surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in California. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly survey that lasts just a few minutes, please email Sandra Oshiro.

Susan October 10, 2012 at 09:03 PM
9 Things That Show Mitt Romney Is Morally Bankrupt –by Adele M. Stan, AlterNet It’s not that hard to be good to your family and friends. If true morality is evidenced by how one treats strangers, Romney’s reputation as a moral actor should be under water. 1. The smug non-smoker took big bucks to push smoking on Russians. 2. Slams government economic investment despite having taken government contracts. 3. Opposes abortion, but invested in company that disposes of aborted fetuses. 4. Decries corruption in other countries but facilitated it in his own. 5. Insults low-income Americans for not paying federal income tax, while not paying federal income tax on almost all of his income. 6. Calls for more transparency from his opponent while hiding his own tax returns, squirreling millions offshore and using accounting tricks to lower his tax rate. 7. Painted his opponent as a fibbing child while building an entire campaign on lies. 8. Claims to have the "best interests of the African American community" in his heart while running a race-baiting campaign. 9. Wears the mantle of protectionist, China-battling job creator after having put thousands of U.S. workers out of jobs and  bought into a giant Chinese sweatshop . Detailed explanations: 9 Things That Show Mitt Romney Is Morally Bankrupt http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/9-things-show-mitt-romney-morally-bankrupt
Eye B. Tender October 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM
“… [I] can go on and on for pages…” Of that I have no doubt. Yet, in the debate watched by 60 or 70 million Americans, the real facts won the day. I suppose that we could turn management of the debates over to Government Workers Union Party activists – like those who sneak in and disrupt Romney campaign events. But, until then the President will have to debate Mr. Romney on more even terms; and how many more “hurt leg” Oh Bummer debate excuses will the undecided Voters allow?
Neighbor NextDoor October 11, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I suppose Eye B. Tender not one of the 47% that only Government Workers Union Party activists or Catholic Charity would ever care to know their invisible existence. Go ahead. Elect one who made a fortune by taking apart American companies, shipping jobs overseas, hiding the millions earned in Caribbeans and Switzerland bank accounts, a super-size IRA account and multiple trusts of his children, then lying in front of an audience of 63 million Americans about knowing nothing of anyone ever outsourcing jobs and then to get tax credits for. He is a slick salesman and good tax dodger. Nothing is wrong as long as it is all legal, right? Of course, it also is legal to write off his wife's $77K horse as business expense, right? The question is whether we want someone like that in the oval office.
Susan October 11, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Some are sicker than others: "Republicans and their allies have been trying to politicize the attack [on Benghazi] — which killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya — suggesting, without evidence, the Obama administration may have ignored intelligence that the attack was imminent, didn’t properly secure the Benghazi compound and is now trying to cover it up. But hidden beneath the GOP campaign is the fact that House Republicans voted to cut nearly $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budget." GOP Rep: I ‘Absolutely’ Voted To Cut Funding For Embassy Security http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/10/10/985191/chaffetz-absolutely-funding-embassy-security/
Eye B. Tender October 12, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Yesterday's testimony before Congress established that "Funding Cuts" had nothing to do with Benghazi. Much as Oh Bummer used “Workplace Violence” to disguise the Fort Hood terrorist attack – all that noise about a video was his effort to politicize the most recent TERRORIST attack. The Democrats’ real problem is that the Voters aren’t as stupid as they think. Hope and change fooled us once, but now we’re Broke, Oh Bummer.


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