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Who Won the Presidential Debate? Romney Did, Say Local Politicos

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney squared off in the first presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Denver, Colorado. Here's what Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats said about the debate in a flash poll.

Gov. Mitt Romney won his first debate with President Barack Obama on Oct. 3: that's the major finding from Red and Blue Commonwealth flash polls sent out to Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats immediately after the debate ended on Tuesday night. 

Local influential Republicans polled in Patch's survey voted 86.2 percent that Romney won by a wide margin, with the remaining 13.8 percent voting that he won by a slim margin.

Local influential Democrats voted 19.1 percent that Romney won by a wide margin and 28.6 percent voted that he won by a slim margin, while 19.1 percent voted that Obama won by a slim margin and only 9.5 percent voted that the president won by a wide margin. Another 23.8 percent voted "neutral."

Asked who would be the consensus "winner" as declared by the national media, Democrats and Republicans opinions were almost identical, with the majority of each—51.7 percent of Republicans and 52.4 percent of Democrats—voting that Romney would be declared the winner by a slim margin.

Also, 24.1 percent of Republicans and 23.8 percent of Democrats voted Romney would be declared the winner by a wide margin, while 17.2 percent of Republicans and 14.3 percent of Democrats voted Obama would be declared the winner by a slim margin. No one from either side voted for Obama being declared the winner by a wide margin.

What Moment Stood Out? 

Asked for a moment that will stand out in the minds of conservatives in Massachusetts, Republicans cited a variety of topics and lines, but most common were Romney's phrases about "trickle down government" and the governor's repeated line about $90 billion in funding going to green energy, with the accompanying quote, "You don't pick the winners and losers—you just pick the losers."

Republicans also cited Romney's defense of his health care bill in Massachusetts and his stance on the Constitutional role of government.

"Opening answer and start of the debate by Mitt Romney," one Republican surveyed answered. "He started off knocking it out of the park and just went from there."

Democrats were less enthusiastic when asked for a moment that will stand out for liberals and progressive in Massachusetts, with one calling the debate a "rather doldrum affair." Some criticized the president for being too "dispassionate" and "passive."

"At the end of the first round, Romney took control and responded to the president when he should not have been allowed to do so," one Democrat answered. "That loss of momentum for the president never recovered. The president was never aggressive enough to impress the viewers."

Asked for a moment that will stand out in the mind of swing voters in Massachusetts, several Republicans cited Romney repeatedly returning to the theme of partisanship while characterizing as Obamacare as a partisan bill. 

Democrats expressed a variety of answers to the stand out moment for swing voters, with some saying Romney taking control of the debate, with others saying Romney did not provide a level of specificity for his plans.

Romney's Performance Makes it More Likely He'll Win in November

Of the local Republicans polled, 72.4 percent strongly agreed that Romney's debate performance makes it more likely he'll win the election, with another 42.1 percent voting they somewhat agreed.

None of the Democrats strongly agreed that Obama's debate performance would make it more likely he'll win the election, with 28.6 percent voting they somewhat agreed, 38.1 percent voting neutral, 23.8 percent voting somewhat disagree and 9.5 percent voting strongly disagree.

In closing opinions, Republicans expressed enthusiasm over their candidate's performance, with several taking shots at Obama not being able to use a Teleprompter and calling his appearance "uncomfortable" and "annoyed," and calling Romney's appearance and demeanor "relaxed" and "polished."

"Mitt surprised alot of people tonight," one Republican said. "My Facebook newsfeed lit up the entire night with people on both sides of the aisle shocked at how badly Obama was getting destroyed."

Democrats expressed disappointment in their final opinions, both over moderator Jim Lehrer's control over the candidates' time to answer and Obama's performance, which was called "unfocused" and not aggressive enough, saying it let Romney slip away without being challenged.

"Obama simply didn't seem focused," one Democrat said. "Many times Romney contradicted his campaign promises so far, or his math didn't add up, and Obama didn't challenge him. It was very disappointing."

Bob Samson October 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Romney in a big win.
Joseph October 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
^exactly. Some of my favorite lines by Obama were his repetitive use of, "Well, I have plan that will...." You've had 4 years to implement these "plans" of yours and have failed to do so. I've never taken to heart the whole Obama "teleprompter" label, but after last night, it couldn't have been more apparent. G'day
William Dawes October 04, 2012 at 02:37 PM
In a choice between Romney and Obama, the voters lose and the oligarchy wins. There is little to no difference between the candidates on the most important issues. They both agree on: The Federal Reserve controlling our monetary policy. Our foreign policy of drone strikes. Our Unconstitutional use of our military in undeclared wars. The NDAA, allowing indefinite detention of American Citizens on American soil. The national debt (not the deficit) increasing beyond current levels. The bailouts of insolvent banks and bankrupt industries. Corporations controlling our political process. Lobbyists writing legislation to be passed by our "representatives". Trapwire and Stellar Wind, two programs designed to capture all our electronic communications and enable constant surveillance in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The non-prosecution of gross fraud and misrepresentation on Wall Street. The violation and destruction of 200 years of property laws by the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System - MERS. The restriction of our First Amendment rights when in close proximity to a "event of national significance". The Unconstitutional act of "Signing Statements" by the President. The allowing of Genetically Modified Organisms into our food supply. Both parties are simply two wings of the same bird of prey. Welcome to Neofeudalism, where your rights are restricted, and your debts force you to work yourself to death for material goods. Enjoy your serfdom.
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