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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 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. 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.

Ed Sorrels October 04, 2012 at 09:42 PM
"Flash Poll" "Political Insider's" Who give's a damn, You have a brain Study, Read, Ask Questions, and make up your own mind, Listening to these Political Insiders is the worst way in the world to get your information on this or any election. They have a vested interest in the outcome, But not the same one as we the electorate does, for them it is just bread and butter but for us it is our very life. I would hope that every American will care enough about both this nation's and his personal future to get out there on election day and vote and bring along a friend also. This election is to important to do as we have so often done in the past where we have had other thing's to do, There is this time no more important thing you can do on election day than Vote for your choice of canidate's and ypour choices on the propositions PLEASE GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
David Baker October 05, 2012 at 12:40 AM
We see events filtered through the lense of our expectations, filtering out those elements of reality which don't fit our predetermined narrative.
Ed Sorrels October 05, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Thank You David, It is true that we support those who " WE" believe most closely follows those expectation's, But you can't go thru life this way you must continuely search for and respect those that disent from you, listen to a different point and you just may grow and improve and learn something new about the world and yourself, This is from a man that voted republican his whole life up untill the bush's and am now a decline to state, as the goals of their party no longer reflect what I have come to believe, But that doesn't matter the real challange is to get out there in November and vote for your canidate of choice along with the propositions, and bring along a friend !
Komfort October 05, 2012 at 05:08 AM
"I'm going to say something controversial here," Gore said on Current TV , the channel he helped found. "Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know ..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9BoM2Q81c
Things I Learned October 05, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Barack Obama is a rarefied avis.

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