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.

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 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.

Ric B October 07, 2012 at 06:53 AM
@ Tom- WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE!!! You & Newt Gingrich were assigned to the build up America's defenses on the moon. You know you risk alot defying that Presidential order, let alone the Newtsters wrath. Do the patriotic thing man before you get sent to GITMO. Oh damn that was Bush that set that up, huh, for unloyal Americans. Well you can console yourself tha Obama at least kept it open to defend America. Going there will give you time to actually compare all the past president orders from out country's beginnings & compare them to each other. You may find an error in your assessment. Don't worry. It shouldn't take another 4 years. Obama may pardon you, because he will still be President!
Robert Livesay October 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I thought gas price was supply and demand. You are asking folks to drive electric and hybrid cars. Use public transportation and gas prices are still sky hgh. No demand no price increase. You Liberals do not make any sense at all. President Obama wants gas prices to remain at an all time high so he can push his Enviro Greenie Socialist agenda. How do like them apples.
Robert Livesay October 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Here is a challenge to the Dixon Patch Liberal/Socialist. Election results on Nov. 6th. Here are mine. President Romney51/49; Senate 50/51 to 50/49 Republicans; House of Reps. 235/200 Republicans still in control; Govs. Republicans will now have 34; State house, there are 99. Republicans will control 64 of 99. Now are you Liberals up to the challenge? Lets just see if you are only all talk. Go To It.
Bwood October 07, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Did you mean, "How do YOU like them apples?" Robert, I wish I was clairvoyant like you so I could tell what the president was thinking..
Robert Livesay October 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM
BWood sorry I left a word out. Now are you up to my challenge? You should know what your man is thinking or why would you vote for him? Strange answer from a Liberal who thinks he has all the answers. Now answer the challenge.


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