Survey: Pa. Dems More Unified on Outcome of Monday's Debate
A Patch flash survey of political activists in Pennsylvania shows differing takes on the impact of the final presidential debate
Pennsylvania Democrats sound a bit more confident than Republicans that Monday night's foreign policy debate will help win votes for their candidate in the Keystone State, according to brief overnight surveys by Patch.
When asked if their candidate's debate performance will help him in Pennsylvania:
- 19 of 22 Democrats who responded said yes, while three were neutral
- 17 of 23 Republicans agreed that it will, while one disagreed, three were neutral and two had no opinion
When asked who won:
- 15 Republicans said Gov. Mitt Romney won, while one said Obama, five were neutral and two had no opinion
- 21 Democrats said Obama won while one was neutral
When asked who would be the consensus winner, as declared by national media:
- 13 Republicans said Obama while two said Romney, six were neutral and two had no opinion
- All 22 Democrats said Obama
The catchy phrases that stuck with debate watchers varied:
- Republicans said Romney's reference to Obama's "apology tour" was a memorable moment for conservatives.
- Democrats singled out Obama's "horses and bayonets" remark in responding to Romney on the strength of the modern U.S. military.
In their survey comments, Pennsylvania Republicans repeatedly noted what they called Romney's presidential bearing:
- "President Obama acted like he needed a big victory tonight. Romney behaved like a President."
- "During the debates both Obama and Biden have come across as angry and arrogant."
- "Overall good debate. Mitt looked as if he was the president whereas Obama looked angry and rather unprofessional at times."
- "Romney continued to look more presidential. His demeanor was superior to the President's."
- "I think the debates helped Governor Romney this year in much the same way they helped Reagan in 1980 and Kennedy in 1960."
- "People will think of Romney as presidential where Obama came across as petty."
Democrats, in their comments, criticized Romney for being inconsistent and praised Obama's performance:
- "Romney is all over the place and spineless; he just says anything"
- "I have never seen a candidate be as dishonest and inconsistent as Mitt Romney."
- "I think President Obama made the case tonight. I think there will be some that know our economy is tied to world events, and that the President, despite setbacks, has had a steady hand, and hasn't pushed us off into anything, and that will be important to continue our recovery in global uncertainty the next four years."
- "If 60% of undecided voters are women, I think they would be more attracted to Obama's foreign policy (less bellicose) and emphasis on need to concentrate on education and infrastructure at home."
One Democrat was "pleased at the bi-partisan tone of Mr. Romney on those immediate foreign policy "problems' such as Syria, Egypt. Some on the right may see it as weakness on his part but I see it as adult behavior and statesmanship."
Patch's survey takers are local elected officials, candidates and activists who volunteered to take part in this non-scientific project.