.

Obama or Romney: Who Won The Final Presidential Debate?

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney squared off in the third and last presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22. Here's how Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats reacted.

Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats both expressed confidence in their candidates after the final presidential debate, with Republicans citing Gov. Mitt Romney projecting an image of a "capable Commander-in-Chief" and Democrats citing President Barack Obama's line about the military having "fewer horses and bayonets" as standout moments: that's the major finding of the Red and Blue Commonwealth flash polls sent out to local politicos immediately after the debate ended Monday night.

Obama and Romney faced off on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., with CBS' Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer moderating a debate that focused on foreign policy, but regularly delved back into domestic policy differences between the candidates. 

Of the 21 local influential Republicans who took the flash poll, six (28.6 percent) said Romney won by a large margin, 12 (57.1 percent) said he won by a slim margin, two called the debate neutral and one voted that Obama won by a wide margin.

On the other side, 22 local influential Democrats took the flash poll and 17 (77.3 percent) said Obama won by a wide margin, two said he won by a slim margin and three called the debate neutral.

Democrats surveyed also overwhelmingly said that Obama would be the consensus "winner" as declared by the national media: nine (40.9 percent) said by a wide margin and 12 (54.6 percent) said by a slim margin, while one said Romney by a slim margin.

Republicans surveyed were somewhat evenly divided on who they thought would be the consensus "winner" as declared by the national media: six (28.6 percent) said Romney by a slim margin, another six said it'd be neutral, 5 (23.8 percent) said Obama by a slim margin and four (19.1 percent) said Obama by a wide margin.

'Failed Policies' Versus a Military Equipment Zinger

Asked what moment would stand out in the minds of conservatives in Massachusetts, several local Republicans pointed to Romney attacking Obama's policies as president, while also saying the GOP nominee projected a strong and presidential presence.

"Mitt looks like a Commander-in-Chief, Obama is still explaining his failed policies," one Republican poll taker wrote.

Another local Republican cited Romney's response when Obama said that the nation cannot "go back to the same policies" that led to the nation's difficult economic situation and needs to go forward.

"I couldn’t agree more about going forward," Romney replied, "but I certainly don't want to go back to the policies of the last four years ... It's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours that these last four years have been so hard." 

Asked what moment would stand out in the minds of progressives and liberals in Massachusetts, several local Democrats pointed to Obama's retort when Romney said that the Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917.

"We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed," Obama said. "We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities."

Other Democrats cited Obama attacking Romney's previously stated positions, which they characterized as "flip-flops."

What About Swing Voters?

Asked what moment would stand out in the mind of swing voters in Massachusetts, some Democrats again cited the "horses and bayonets" line, while others pointed to Romney "so often agreeing" with Obama on foreign policy issues.

"Romney backing off from every criticism of the President's foreign policy," one Democrat respondent wrote. "And his closing, talking repeatedly about peace as if reciting something memorized. And not answering the President's comments about his campaign. He came out as if trying to get by and not make any waves."

One local Republican also said that "horses and bayonets line was memorable;" however, one local Democrat said that Bay State swing voters would remember "how calm and clear Romney was in his statements."

Other local Republicans cited Romney touting his ability to work with Democrats from his time as Massachusetts Governor, while others pointed to him repeatedly bringing the topic back to the question of the economy.

"Twenty-three million Americans out of work and food stamps at an all-time high—Obama has had four years to improve it and failed," one Republican respondent wrote.

Will the Debate Make a Difference?

Both sides believed that their candidate's performance would increase the number of votes their candidate would win in Massachusetts.

Eight local Republicans (38.1 percent) said they strongly agreed Romney's performance would increase his tally of Bay State votes, another eight somewhat agreed, four (19.1 percent) were neutral and one strongly disagreed.

Eleven local Democrats (50 percent) said they strongly agreed Obama's performance would boost his Massachusetts vote totals, eight (36.4 percent) somewhat agreed and three were neutral.

In final remarks, both sides returned to previous themes, with several Republicans citing Romney's "statesman" demeanor, which they contrasted with Obama's "defensive" and "disruptive, undisciplined" demeanor.

Several Democrats again cited Romney's "etch-a-sketch treatment of al previous statement," as one respondent put it, and that Romney "parroted" Obama "on most of his policies."

That said, one person on each side of the aisle said that both candidates performed well, while another looked forward to Nov. 7, the day after the election.

"Glad it's over," the respondent wrote. "Now let's get through the next two weeks!"

Who do you think won the debate? Tell us in the comments below.

Red and Blue Commonwealth Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Republican activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Massachusetts. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Massachusetts' Patch's surveys, although not all responded to this story's questions.

Patch will be conducting Red Commonwealth and Blue Commonwealth surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Massachusetts. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, please contact Associate Regional Editor Daniel DeMaina at danield@patch.com.

Bob Hahn October 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM
What difference does it make? Most Sharon voters wouldn't vote for a republican no matter who the democrat is. So sad!
TM October 23, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Of course, the extent to which polling of regular people differs from the "influential" Democrats and Republicans cited in the article reflects how out of touch anyone identified as "influential" within a political party happens to be with mainstream people. CBS had Obama +30% winning for example. That was same poll that gave Romney +24 in first debate and no one was claiming Obama won. But even with bigger margin in same poll, R's and even some "influential" D's don't see the big win for Obama? Time for a reality check.....
Paul Lasiewski October 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Asked about the effectiveness of his administration's Iran nuclear sanctions, Obama took a swipe directly at the former Massachusetts governor, saying "The fact is, while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, [Romney was] still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector." Obama was right, but according to a recent tally by Mother Jones, the president actually underestimated the scale of investment by Romney's trusts in the country the former Massachusetts governor has pledged to label "a currency manipulator" on his first day in office. While Obama cited only one oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the Romneys' 2010 and 2011 tax returns show investments in at least 10 Chinese companies, a total investment of at least $391,800. Among them were New Oriental Education and Technology, a company in which the Romneys' blind trusts invested nearly $60,000. New Oriental is famous for stealing copyrighted U.S. academic tests, and was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by a Chinese court for it. How can anyone trust Romney who says one thing and does another, or just says something different depending on the situation.
AML October 23, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Mitt did what he had to do. He played it safe and came off more presidential than the president. The president came off as childish, disrespectful, and at times condescending. Obama's behavior was a turn off. I'm going with the guy that clearly loves America versus the one that continues to apologize for America.
Paul Lasiewski October 23, 2012 at 04:44 PM
"The president came off as childish, disrespectful, and at times condescending.Obama's behavior was a turn off." Isn't that exactly how Romney acted in the second debate? He was totally disrespectful to the President and the moderator. But that's OK because he's a Republican? Really now....
Adam Edward October 23, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I know who lost, the same people who lose every election, the American people.
Kirby October 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM
"several local Democrats pointed to Obama's retort"... "We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines." Nice comeback!
Indiana October 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Romney won the debate when he got Barry for apologizing to the world for America...Barry had NO comeback - just talked about soldiers? Romney said America does not dictate we liberate. Beautiful.Barry has zero plan for domestic policies - entitlement reform - or foreign policy
Carol Bragg October 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
How do nuclear submarines prevent terrorism? Aren't these from a different era and a different kind of warfare?
Kirby October 24, 2012 at 01:05 AM
After "Nice comeback" I forgot to write "(dripping with sarcasm!)"
Kevin October 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Romney is a chameleon, his color changes to whatever color wall he is standing in front of. He lost the debate by a very large margin and rightfully so, because he didn't introduce a single original piece of policy and simply repeated everything that Obama mentioned. Also if Greece is an ally of ours, how come he gets off unscathed by disparaging them? Last time I checked he chastised Obama for supposedly disparaging Israel, so does that make Greece a lesser ally? I think not. I can not vote for someone who did a crappy job as a governor, has been running for president for several years including his last as governor at the expense of his so called "home" state, cannot explain the details of his big tax plans or how to pay for them, and can disavow half the country when in private. He's a sneak, a liar, and a bully who hasn't had someone to tell him no in a long time, and will hopefully go away finally after he loses this election.
todd October 25, 2012 at 01:06 AM
How about "evolving".. sound familiar?
Sinclair October 25, 2012 at 02:48 AM
They can pinpoint a target and launch cruise missiles, approach a highjacked luxury cruise ship and deploy Navy SEALS, monitor an outlaw country's shipping, blockade a rogue nation, monitor and discourage piracy on the high seas, etc., etc. Nuclear powered subs can deploy for long periods without refueling and can replenish their supplies at sea.
todd October 25, 2012 at 08:24 PM
So much for the miltary education. I wish he used them in Libya.. Maybe there would not be 4 dead.
todd October 25, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Liberalism Really IS a Mental Disorder.....
234543 November 10, 2012 at 07:59 AM
roughly a month http://www.coachoutletonlineoe.com Coach Factory Outlet after the http://www.louisvuittonoutletam.net Louis Vuitton Outlet she received http://www.coachfactoryoutlethn.org Coach Factory Store a letter http://www.guccibeltsoutletds.net Gucci Belt reverse mortgage http://www.coachfactoryonlinefn.net Coach Factory Online Store informing her http://www.coachfactorystorecd.com Coach Factory Outlet that unless http://www.coachoutletb1.com Coach Factory Online she paid http://www.coachoutlethcs.com Coach Outlet Online she would http://www.coachoutletonlinegc.com Coach Online Outlet lose her home http://www.coachoutletuso.net Coach Factory Outlet Online in San Bernardino http://www.coachbagsoutletel.com Coach Bags Outlet the reverse http://www.coachoutletonlineef.org Coach Outlet Online mortgage deed http://www.coachfactoryonlineen.com Coach Factory Online she would http://www.coachfactoryoutletion.com Coach Factory Outlet have virtually http://www.hemesbelscq.com Hermes Belt no right http://www.coachoutletmls.com Coach Factory Outlet Online

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something