No Knock-Out Punches in Final Debate
Patch polled influential New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats to find out who they felt won the debate.
No knock-out punches were thrown and there was no clear winner in Monday's final presidential debate, according to a flash poll of influential members of New Hampshire's Republican and Democratic parties.
"The debate is meaningless and will not impact the race either way," said one Republican.
"Mitt Romney didn't lose tonight and the President didn't score a knock-out," said another. "A draw is no help to the President and he will not see a bounce."
But one Democrat responding to our survey said Romney needed to do more on Monday night.
"Mitt Romney looked and acted like he was protecting an invisible lead, and in my 40+ years involved in politics I've learned you can't just try to run out the clock."
Patch tapped our panels of Republicans and Democrats who hold office, former elected officials, candidates or party activists in two polls conducted immediately after Monday's debate ended. Patch received responses from 30 Republicans and 20 Democrats. The poll is not scientific.
Nearly all of the Democratic respondents felt President Obama won Monday's final debate. Ninety percent said Obama won the debate by a wide margin, with 5 percent saying he won by a slim margin.
"Obama is back!" said one influential Democrat.
Several Democrats commented on how they felt Romney was saying whatever he could to get people to vote for him.
"Mitt Romney will say or do anything to get votes," said one. "Whether it's true or not!"
"Romney is now saying anything to appeal to the widest number of voters, despite his previous position statements," said another.
Of the GOP respondents, exactly half said Romney won "by a wide margin," and another 27 percent said he won by "a slim margin." That's an increase from the second debate, when only 40 percent said he won by a wide margin.
Several influential Republicans commented on Romney's composure.
"Mitt Romney looked Presidential tonight," said one.
"The debate seemed as if Romney was president and Obama was attacking Romney's presidency," said another.
Still another Republican respondent seemed utterly deflated after the debate, saying simply, "I certainly won't be voting for either of these two losers."
Most Democrats and Republicans responding to our survey felt the national media would declare Obama the winner of Monday's debate.
Ninety-five percent of Democrats said they felt the national media would say Obama won. Sixty percent of Republican respondents felt Obama would be declared the winner, while only 30 percent felt the media would say Romney won.
Ninety percent of Democratic respondents felt Obama improved his chances of winning the Granite State with Tuesday's debate performance. Forty percent said they strongly agreed, with another 50 percent saying they somewhat agreed.
On the Republican side, 80 percent of those responding said they felt that Romney's debate performance makes it more likely he will win New Hampshire on Nov. 6.
When asked about the most memorable moment from the debate, Democrats most often cited Obama's "horses and bayonets" zinger.
Republicans most frequently mentioned Romney pointing out that Obama went on an "apology tour" around the world. The Romney campaign even launched a new television ad this morning attempting to capitalize on that quip.
Polls in recent weeks have shown Obama and Romney deadlocked in New Hampshire, though a University of New Hampshire poll released just prior to Monday's debate showed Obama with an 8 percent lead.
The Red and Blue Granite 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 New Hampshire. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Granite and Blue Granite surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire. 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 Regional Editor Marc Fortier at firstname.lastname@example.org.