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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 a lot 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."

Anna Bucciarelli October 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Absolutely agree re: judges and really am leaning more and more toward limits for all. I cannot disagree with your analysis overall. Count me in!
Leonardo DaVinci October 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Why stop there? We really don't need congress or presidents deciding anything. They can still run and be elected, but let their first priority be a nation wide computer voting system, where WE can vote on the issues daily, weekly, whenever we must. With the exceptions of emergenicies when the President must act immediately when enemies attack or any vital emergency. Let the main job of Congress be to draw up the laws that "We" submit to them and we will vote on to pass or not right at home.. It's the computer age! Why I we running the country like we did almost 250 year ago? They did not have computers, telephones, lighting fast information distribution. You needed representatives then but you don't need them as in 1776. They should truly be our servants and be there in Washington because they want to help, not take from a system that clearly does not work any longer. Don't blame Republicans or Democrats, just blame us all. If you can get term limits and believe it, they will make it almost impossible for you to do so, and that should be the only proof you need that the only true ruling system should be that every lawbiding registered voter should be the boss, and ready and responsible all the time.. IF YOU WANT IT DONE FAIRLY DO IT YOURSELF! Computerize the voting system for home use. It can be and shoud be done, but they who are in charge now, will fight us tooth and nail to keep the "REAL" power from American citizens for as long as they can, but not forever.
paul surette October 15, 2012 at 04:31 PM
For the record, Quasimodo, Romney never mentioned anything about touching the mortgage interest deduction on the federal tax code.....so don't be dishonest. You, my friend, suffer from selective hearing!
paul surette October 15, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Leonardo, I do agree that the present voting mechanism is archaic, no question. The problem with 'computers' in general is that we live now in the information age, and a lot of people out there are what we call 'script kiddies' who's soul purpose is to exploit language and code. If we ever find something fool proof that can't be hacked or exploited, I'm in!
Leonardo DaVinci October 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I understand and my initial proposal is an over simplification by far, of an idea that has to be worked. There would be many obstacles, by many different people and they will say it can't be done for many different reasons. We split the atom. We cured Polio. We put men of moon. I could go on and on and there are many people who could draw this plan to perfection if they willed. We all know it, in our hearts the system is broken. They who lead concurrently have put 16 Trillion dollars debt on every man, women and child in this nation and no one can blame any one person for it. We did it together because we let them, we did not come up with a better way to run our goverment and we just assumed that it should be run the way they did in 1776. But, consider more than us those who lived in those days were ready for such a change and what they did was remarkable for their time, We were the model goverment for the rest of the world, If they had our present communication technology and the ability of lightening fast communication, they would leap at the chance to do it, but we have become robotic in our everyday living and waste or time arguing when we should be cooperating. I have read many posts on Patch this year and it does appear we have to start finding ways to cooperate more. We are not in control. I'm not overly relgious but someone told me once, that one of the great messages of the Bible was that we should cooperate in life more than compete. Hopefully that is true!

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