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Who Did Local Politicos Think Won Last Night's Presidential Debate?

Here's what Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats said about the Obama-Romney debate in a flash poll.

Mitt won.

That's the major finding from Red and Blue Commonwealth flash polls sent out by Patch to Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats immediately after the debate ended last 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 that 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."

Poppaone October 04, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Cowardly!? The truth is cowardly? You think this man is focused? Clearly, this man would rather be on the back nine, or attending some fancy smancy fundraiser in with some Hollywood libs, or shutting down Times Square so he and his queen can have a date night on the taxpayers dollar. He came off looking foolish because he was not prepared. He does not not understandand the details of our economy, or how to fix it, he has proven that many times. He does not know how to create jobs. He does not understand that a "kinder, gentler" foreign policy makes us look weak and vunerable to our enemies - of which there are many. That makes our nation less safe. He is has not been transparent (as he promised) - just the opposite. He has not been bi-partisan, as he promised - he refuses to work with Congress and rules by executive fiat. He takes away our God given freedoms. He is a liar. He is a fool. He is a failure. He is making everyone who voted for his imperial presidency into a fool. How's that for cowardly?
Charlie Kadlec October 04, 2012 at 07:17 PM
"Local influential" politicians are usually happy to be identified when they are quoted, the article would have been more interesting if their names had been included. The Republicans must have been especially influential if 72.4 percent strongly agreed and 42.1 percent somewhat agreed that the debate will make it more likely that Romney will win in November. That adds up to 114.5 percent, not counting those who may have had another opinion. Charlie Kadlec Acton
Bill Smith October 04, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Go see "2016, Obama's America". It's a stark true tale that reveals a lot about who Obama is and why he views America the way he does.
Howard Kosrofian October 04, 2012 at 08:52 PM
OBAMA`S America isn`t it grand, just heard gas in california 6.00 a gallon, IF YOU CAN EVEN GET IT. OBAMA, Loves to mention teachers, teachers, teachers, WE KNOW WE NEED TEAHERS. However what he want`s is more and more money poured into the urban area`s, that`s what he is saying. HOW IS IT BEEN WORKING ALL THESE YEARS. MURDER RATE IN his windy city of CHICAGO is higher than SYRIA.IT`S not teachers that are going give people family values, why doesn`t the first Black president try to address what`s really going on, instead blaming billionare`s for everything.For OBAMA, MORE AND MORE TAXES, simply put is reporations, his redistribution of wealth. DO people really think we can survive 4 more years of this ego maniac.THE NETWORKS MSNBC, AND CNN ARE IN MOURNING TODAY, MY GOD.They are just campaign HQ for OBAMA, IT`S a disgrace that this can go on. THEY WILL TRY DO EVERYTHING TO GET THIS GUY ELECTED.THIS president was a state senator, and a us senator for just two years, that`s it. PROCLAIMED THE RISING STAR, NEVER RAN A BUSINESS, COMMUNITY ACTIVEST, ANOTHER WORDS A professional protestor. THIS WHAT WE HAVE LEADING THE FREE WORLD. YESTERDAY`S DEBATE WAS LIKE THE Patriots playing Wellesley high.
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