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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 Obama’s performance, with 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. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. 

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 surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Sandra Oshiro.

Gayle M. Montgomery October 12, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Jo, did you just repeat your comments of 2 nights ago, or was this a computer glitch? It is identical to that what you posted on the 9th. Same identical rant. With respect to race, methinks though doth protest too much, and this sounds like threatened White folk talk, and before you go there, I'm White folk. It's very cavalier to disregard race because you flush all the socioeconomic issues that go with. You think discrimination doesn't take place and doesn't hold folks back, that the playing field is even? What fairy tale castle do you live in? I've seen this in action way too many times, folks trying to discriminate against the minority at look at me because I am White like I'm supposed to go along with it. Uh-uh. It's wrong. This rant was wrong when you did it the first time. I didn't call you out then because I was busy with other stuff and the Conservatives were having quite the bonfire. But repeating it a second time? Didn't get enough attention the first time, or are you just that cranked?
Gayle M. Montgomery October 12, 2012 at 03:09 AM
And that part about leaving California...don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
bbkong October 12, 2012 at 03:16 AM
@Jo I bet you're a lot of fun at parties.
Holly Hale October 12, 2012 at 04:05 AM
There's a settings thing, Gayle. Where you check off if you want newsletters etc. I think it might enable the private message area. No, no posters remorse. I saw Geo's post about SteveB then I read up the list and saw he has copied and pasted me twice. Totally uncool. If I don't want to participate any longer in this "discussion" that's my choice. Not SteveB or anyone else. Thanks
Holly Hale October 12, 2012 at 05:36 PM
@Gayle: No, that's not me on YouTube. You can look at Monrovia First Pres. or Glendale College for choral presentations. What Geo was referring to was my singing the National Anthem to kick off a run then meet them at the end for the celebration. Today is Sifu Tony Horton's funeral and tomorrow the memorial. Sad days. Later.

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