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Flash Poll: Romney Won Presidential Debate, California 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 Republican nominee 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.

Eighty-eight percent of Republicans said Romney had 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 health care 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.

Punxnotdead October 08, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Anybody not thrilled with the top 2 choices should consider voting 3rd party. Until other candidates can garner at least 15% in national polls, they will continue to not be invited to the Presidential Debates. Check out Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and consider voting Libertarian or other 3rd party. As 3rd parties gain momentum, eventually voters will have more (and presumably better) choices. http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/front
Albert Rubio October 09, 2012 at 12:51 AM
1. the conclusion does not follow from the premises, so it is a fallacy. the conclusion is absurd so it more resembles a slander. 2. I don't deprecate fact checking per se, but it is a fools errand in a political debate. Why? because what is centrally important is knowing what the political and economic principles the candidates hold. This is lost when you are fact checking things that gives the appearance of importance to people who don't know better. 3. I hold the classical liberal philosophy and the candidates hold mostly anti-liberal views. Their policies have combined to result in the continuing economic crisis, so policies and economic principles matter. 4. The link you provided is full of left wing premises and the conclusions are not strictly facts which serve as propaganda. I don't object to propaganda but I do oppose much of the left and right wing political ideas.
Californicated1 October 09, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I'm wasting my vote on the Peace & Freedom candidates for President and Vice-Prexy this go around-- Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan I'm very PO'ed these days! So I will vote for some really PO'ed people.
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