Final Presidential Debate: California Political Insiders Say Who Won

State partisans pick the winner of Monday’s presidential debate in Patch’s weekly survey.

Patch surveyed influential California partisans after Monday night’s final presidential debate and, like the candidates themselves, they seemed to agree on very little.

As expected, people mostly sided with their own party's candidate. Among Democrats, 11 of the 13 respondents named President Obama as the clear winner. On the Republican side, although only 4 percent said Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won the debate, 10 of the 18 respondents said he won by a slim margin. Of all the respondents surveyed, the answers were split, with both candidates receiving 14 votes each for the debate win.

The Patch surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but are an effort to listen to a range of local Republican and Democratic political insiders, activists, leaders and elected officials in California. All the individuals who took part in the survey agreed to answer questions after each presidential debate.

Other points of interest of the survey:

  • While Romney’s “binders full women” was the buzz quote of the previous debate, Obama’s “horses and bayonets” comment went viral this time. When Romney said the U.S. Navy is "smaller now than at any time since 1916,” Obama countered, saying:

“You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."

  • Both Democrats and Republicans pointed to that comment as a standout moment. One Democrat wrote that the Democrats will be “energized” following Obama’s comment. But one GOP respondent wrote that Obama’s comment was “ridiculous.”

“CA Conservatives love their military and Obama doesn’t…it’s easy,” the Republican respondent wrote.

  • Other key moments for GOP respondents were Romney’s criticisms of Obama’s “apology tour,” his responses on policies in Russia, Iran and Israel -- and his five-point plan for economic recovery.
  • Democrats said Romney often did not have a clear, distinguishable stance from Obama, with one writing, “Romney agreed with everything Obama was doing.” One Democrat respondent said a key moment was Obama’s comment that Romney’s foreign policy is from the 1980s, his social policy from the 1950s and his economic policy from the 1920s.
  • Both parties agreed the national media would portray Obama as the winner. On the Republican side, 38.9 percent said Obama would be declared the winner by a slim margin, versus 22.8 percent believing Romney would be narrowly declared the winner.
  • Republican respondents were divided on whether Romney’s performance would increase the number of votes he wins in California, with 27.8 percent saying they “strongly agree” it would, but 30.3 percent saying they were neutral on the topic.
  • 69.2 percent of Democrats said they “strongly agree” Obama’s performance in the final debate would positively affect the number of California votes he receives.

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.

met00 October 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Wow, "Libya denied assistance" pulls up a large number of Faux links, and links from the GOP and the conservative blogs and "news" sides, but nothing from that silly lamestream media. Go figure. Lena Dunham's ad was sickening? It was a repeat of... wait for it.... a 1980 ad from Ronald Reagan. Yes, it wasn't original, it was a take off on Saint Ronnies 1980 ad. The outrage is funny as hell. Here is today's FAUX quote... RABINOWITZ: Well, what we think of it is, what are we looking at here? We have to acknowledge, the President is a very angry man. That was Dorthy Rabinowitz. She was on Saturdays Journal Editorial Report (she works at the WSJ, Faux's newspaper of record). And what sent her up the Angry Black Man tree? OBAMA: It turns out it's not a five-point plan Governor Romney has got, it's a one-point plan: Folks at the very top get to play by their own rules -- pay lower tax rates than you do, outsource more jobs, let Wall Street run wild. And if this plan sounds familiar, it's because we tried it. […] Now, Governor Romney knows this. He knows his plan isn't any different than the policies that led to the Great Recession. So in the final weeks of his election, he's counting on you forgetting what he stands for. He's hoping that you, too, will come down with a case of what we like to call Romnesia.
met00 October 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Marty, I thought you might be an original thinker, but alas, your Soros strawman (rather than discussing the actual facts) and now the Faux News bullcrap are just too damn much. I am more than willing to debate FACTs, and that means that it didn't come from the GOP propaganda machine at Faux. Feel free to quote Reason, AEI or some other right wing think tank, but FAUX is Goebbels on steroids. If you tell enough absolute BS and lies, then maybe something will stick. That's FAUX's motto. Unfortunately every piece of crap they throw or insinuate at ends up being bogus red meat to the nut cases that are looking for ANY reason to hate Obama and the left. "You didn't build that!" sound familiar? In context it was 100% accurate. Yet the GOP built an entire convention around the out-of-context LIE as propagated by Faux and its various tentacles. There is a reason why in independent study after study it shows that people that don't get their news from any news source have a better understanding of the world around them than people that get their information from Faux. Faux not only doesn't give you the news, they actually tell you lies. That makes the Faux viewer actually less informed.
not Carl Peterson lll October 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Metoo I don't remember quoting fox news here. But I could if you really want that discussion. Let me clarify. People pulling the strings behind the scenes are not always acting in a partisan way. Soros has a game plan for the world. We can debate which side has more bad people with money......But it doesn't really matter, and it is on both sides. Let me pull back from this for a moment with an idea. You have an abundance of information, and have ideas. So do I. I think the evidence is clear from my attempt to read everyside. So do you. We both want what is best for everyone. We both can pull evidence to secure our positon, as we slam the other as bias. Marty: (sic) "how can you quote a soro's funded"..... Met00: (sic) "faux news is all crap" We are all over the map. Every issue has the same formula for failure of thought change. Perhaps a single issue, rather than the whole world might not be like a hurricane in NewYork.
tiny October 29, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Here's Obuma relating how the first bailout was as popular as a root canal, but was necessary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx8bo8GdPcQ But now the Fed, under Oboma, has launched QE3, which is 40B/month indefinitely, of the Fed buying Mortgage Backed Securities from "banks" at 100% of face value, when they wouldn't sell anywhere near that otherwise. So it is a continuation of the bailout to infinity. Any Oboma drones want to explain?
Peter Hornby October 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM


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