FLASHPOLL: CT Political Insiders Say Obama — Barely — Wins Final Presidential Debate

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made their cases for the final time in a debate setting Monday night at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.


According to a Patch FlashPoll of influential Connecticut political insiders late Monday night, President Barack Obama barely edged out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the final presidential debate of the 2012 campaign at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

As expected, the Blue Nutmeg and Red Nutmeg surveys’ results were largely partisan. All 14 Democratic respondents declared Obama the winner, with 10 of them saying Obama won by a wide margin. Among Republicans, 9 of the 12 thought Romney won, although most (7) thought it was by a slim margin. Three Republicans had a “neutral” opinion on the matter.

The foreign-policy debate, moderated by CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, was marked by pointed exchanges, although the sit-down affair was decidedly less tense than last week’s stand-up town hall-style debate where the candidates seemed to stalk each other around the stage.

The consensus among Democratic respondents to the survey, which was conducted between 10:30 p.m. and midnight Monday, was that the president’s view of military spending and his strong support of Israel would stand out in the minds of liberals and swing voters.

‘Horses and Bayonets’

The signature moment for Obama, according to many of the Democrats, was his rebuttal of Romney’s assertion that the military has fewer surface ships than it did before World War I.

“"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,” Obama said. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines.”

Republican respondents to the survey, though, thought Obama’s comment was less than endearing.

“Overall I think conservatives will look at the president’s performance as rude and condescending,” one Republican respondent said. “He mocked Romney’s knowledge of how the military works when he was wrong himself (with his bayonet comment) … I think Romney did no damage in this debate, and he looked presidential.”

“The president again proved himself to be rude and to confuse facts from the fiction of his talking points,” another Republican said. “ He can only attack and speak about the small things to distract voters from the truth of the last four years, of his leading from behind and from his failed foreign policy.”

“The president was very aggressive in tonight’s debate,” a GOP respondent said. “I did not like his demeanor.”

Yet another Republican respondent put it even more bluntly.

“These last two debates, (the president) has continuously interrupted both Gov. Romney and the moderator and has acted like a child. Our third-grade students have more common courtesy than our president,” he said. “It is unbecoming of any adult, let alone our elected leader. He should learn to raise his hand when he has something to say that is clearly out of turn.

“He feels it’s OK to interrupt just because he disagrees. It’s a clear sign of the type of person he is, and a window into the behind-the-scenes leadership he’s engaged in for the last four years ….”

‘Romnesia in Full Effect’

Democrats, however, lauded Obama’s performance, and noted that Romney seemed to agree with many of the president’s positions.

“Romney was off tonight,” a Democratic respondent said. “Obama called it when he suggested that most of the time Romney was agreeing with his policies but just wanted to say them louder.”

“(This was) Romnesia in full effect,” a Democrat said. “This was not the Mitt Romney that’s been running for president the past two years. Debate record: Obama 2, Romney 1.”


Patch’s 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 Connecticut. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to Monday night's questions. Surveys were conducted between 10:30 and midnight on Oct. 22.

Patch will be conducting Red Nutmeg and Blue Nutmeg surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Connecticut. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that last just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Corey Fyke at corey@patch.com.

Red Nutmeg Roster: Mark Gill, Kevin Dombrowski, John Rodolico, Mike Cherry, Mimi Peck Llewellyn, Fred Camillo Allyn Jr., Fran Lowell, Julia Cronin, Bob Beaver, Mark Zacchio, Thomas Harrison, Britta Lerner, Lisa Bigelow, John Shaban, Ward Mazzucco, Dan Carter, Harry Thomas, Don Patterson, Harold Cummings, Brian Motola, William Nicholson, Mark Kalina, Adam Weissberger, Christine Vincent, Jack Scavone, Laura Roberts, Andy Powell, Anthony Candelora, Michael Doody, Rose Angeloni, Vin Candelora, Abbe Smith, Denise Hall, Peter Martin, Steven Adler, Burke Doar, Jay Sarzen, Meredith Trimble, Phil Dunn, Frank Morse, Todd Cusano, Marti Stiglich, Malvi Lennon, Jeff Ingram, Aaron Jubrey, Lisa Boccia, Jason Buchsbaum, Vinny Toscano, David Freudmann, Ric Hossak, Beverly Miela, April Holinko, Tony Lent, Jason Perillo, John Anglace Jr., Ross Mandell, Nathan McKay, Dorry Clay, Wendy Bury, Stephen Bessette, Christopher Davis, Chris Fryxell, David Reed, Sharon McLaughlin, Janet Wieliczka, Jeff Gutman, J.P. Sredzinski, Robert Yamin, Joe Cavo, Mark Boughton, Shay Nagarsheth, Michael McLachlan, Norbert Fay, Dan Steward, Kathleen McCarty, David Lewis, Alan Wilensky, Tim Herbst, Suzanne Testani, Susan LaFrance, Paul Lavoie, Diane Pomposello, Kristin Ingram, Stacy Geist, Jay Berardino, John Szewczyk, Jeremy Renninghoff, Pat Dinatale, Ed Bailey, Scott Kaupin, Patrick Droney, John Kissel, Tom Kienzler, Greg Stokes, Peter Tesei, Livvy Floren, Fred Camillo, Steven Warzoha, L. Scott Frantz, Frank Szeps, Bryan Perry, Ed Munster, Eloise H.P. Killeffer, James M. McLaughlin, Valerie M. Saiz, Nancy Haase, Charles Haberstroh, Avi Kaner, Michael Rea, Lisa DiLullo, Mike Digrego, Michael. S. Casey, Pam Staneski, Tom Jagodzinski, Matthew Galligan, Timothy Becker, Mark Tweedie, Cheri Pelletier, Darren Cunningham, Sean Askham, William Stokesbury, Brian Ladouceur Jr., Cathy Durdan, Paul Henault, Len Cahill, Phil Williams, Phil Sengle, Vincent Cimino, Charity Folk, Stephen Walko, Daria Novak, Diane Carney, Linda Davis, Leora Levy, Aundré Bumgardner.

Blue Nutmeg Roster: Wendy Howard, David Peña, Daryl Worobow, Linda Merlin, Michael Freeman, Neal Bobruff, Edward Haberek Jr., Dorry Clay, Corey Sipe, Don Maranell, Dee Dee Martin, Nick Kapoor, Susan Koneff, Alan Vaglivelo, Kelly Plunkett, William D. Saums, Michael Graner, Rebecca Graebner, Kenneth Koe, Stephanie Calhoun, Dave Holdridge, Sheri Cote, J.W. "Bill" Sheehan, Cheryl Larder, Andrea Kanfer, George Peteros, Tony Silber, Roy Fuchs, Mary Beth Thornton, Nancy DiNardo, Richard W. White, Karen Cheyney, Michael Doyle, James McLaughlin, Allison Dodge, Laura Williams, Drew Marzullo, John Blankley, David Rafferty, Anthony R.J. Moran, William Satti, Rich Martin, George "Bud" Bray, Dan Pickett, James Albis, Jack Stacey, Sharon Hightower, Peter Kochenburger, William Ryan, Mark LaPlaca, Toni Moran, Andrea Epling, James Ezzes, Jonathan Steinberg, Jan Rubino, Rick Field, Bob Pagoni, Josh Freeman, James Maroney, Richard Smith, Kim Rose, Richard Roy, Paul Davis, Robert Hoffman, Kathleen Devlin, Francis Devlin, Ted Graziani, Tracey Kiff-Judson, Mike Pohl, Josh Howroyd, Dave Dumaine, Ryan Barry, Mike Farina, Doreen Richardson, Darleen Klase, Bill Herzfeld, Brandon McGee, Al Simon, Kevin Cavanagh, Alan R. Mordhorst, Phil Sylvestro, Bill MacDonald, Frank Farricker, Tom Gugliotti, Jeff Blumenthal, Peter Mahoney, Marie Herbst, Thomas DiDio, Michael Winkler, Ethelene DiBona, Jennifer Wolfer, Dolly Mezzetti, Joe Mezzetti, Jeff Tindall, Hal Schwartz, Kevin Coyner, Craig Nussbaum, Catherine Zamecnik, Jane Scully Welch, Leon Karvelis, Barbara Reynolds, Bob Schrage, Mark Lewis, Gayle Weinstein, John Hampton, Lisa Heavner, Helen A. Garten, Tricia Evans.

SomeonesDad October 23, 2012 at 09:44 PM
It's funny how people who support Romney will use these "personality traits" as the one insult they can come up with when their guy clearly got his rear end whooped. I'm sorry if you aren't able to admit it, but Romney got schooled last night by someone with 10x more foreign policy experience than him (and, oddly enough, Romney agreed with most of what Obama said anyway, so....). Jean, every poll taken said it was basically a 2-to-1 knockout. Just be adult enough to admit that Romney simply didn't do that well that last two debates, just as much as Obama put in a horrible performance the first round. It won't kill you. The same intellectually empty arguments were used when Biden wiped the floor with Paul Ryan. The best Romeny/Ryan supporters could muster was that Biden was a meanie. Ooh! Well, I'll take mean/snarky/whatever over being a giant BS artist any day. One of the reasons politics and political discussions are such a waste of time is that few people are willing to budge from their positions or admit when they're candidate is wrong or didn't do something well. Stop listening to the con artists in the Spin Rooms, on Fox News and MSNBC, and do your own research into what these clowns say during a debate. It's incredulous that the majority of voters in this country seem to believe pretty much everything that their guy says without ever challenging what's said. There's a reason this country is such a mess - people are sheep.
SomeonesDad October 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Lowbrow, I'm confused. Was the Vegas reference against Romney? You know, where Sheldon Adelson, one of his biggest supporters lives, and stands to save, oh, approximately $2.3 BILLION in taxes under the Romney "plan?" http://www.ibtimes.com/how-sheldon-adelson-could-save-23-billion-under-romney-tax-plan-782671
SomeonesDad October 23, 2012 at 09:57 PM
OK, so explain to us how he's failed on foreign policy that past 4 years (other than dropping the ball on Afghanistan, which the Republicans are hell bent on keeping us there anyway - gotta keep that war machine fed). Has he managed to piss of just about all of our partners like Bush and Cheney so successfully did? How well did Mitt do on his summer European tour, by the way? Didn't go so well. Mitt's foreign policy experience/expertise is in ONE area: shipping jobs to China. Period.
SomeonesDad October 23, 2012 at 09:59 PM
As I said above, that's all they have. People simply don't have the balls to admit when their perfect candidate drops the ball on something (hey, I admit Obama screwed up pretty badly n debate #1 - does that affect me? No.). It was the same nonsense when Biden schooled Ryan. If you can't attack on substance, attack on something petty.
SomeonesDad October 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
OK, let's play. What president was handed a surplus and turned it into a skyrocketing deficit by getting us into TWO wars and pushing through tax cuts that weren't at all necessary? It wasn't Obama. What president kicked off our deficit spending back in the 80s? Oh, yeah, that was a Republican, too. This debt talk is the biggest bunch of bullsh*t. The minute a Republican takes office, deficit spending somehow, magically disappears. Have you bothered to do serious research on what Romney's supposed plans would do? Probably not. Have you taken a look at what's happening in Europe with the austerity measures (I hope I didn't use too big of a word for you there) and how it's devastated economies throughout the continent? And this talk about "overburdening businesses with regulation." Have you bothered to take a look at the stock market? It's higher than when Obama took office. These poor little corporations have seen record profits for over two years and happen to be sitting on TRILLIONS of dollars in cash. But, yeah, they're stretched. And god forbid we regulate businesses, right? I mean, gosh, Bush/Cheney had their way with deregulation and that got us into....wait for it....the worst recession since the Great Depression. So, where you exactly, when Bush's budgets were off the charts? We didn't hear you crowing about anything then, did we? I doubt it. Let us know when you can start discussing issues without rehashing party talking points.
victor October 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I think we touched a nerve on the lefties on here.
Kevin J. Lennon October 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM
... and the empty can continues to rattle about after being kicked about
Cliff Cuming October 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM
H2 Well maybe he did tie his dog to the roof. But so what. Barry, on the other hand cares not that his brother lives in squalor, fails to help him with his own money but does not mind taking mine to support some lazy lumps. One trillion + bucks for welfare vs 600B for defense...give me a break.
Ksmithee October 24, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Kevin J Lennon- take your own advice your family will thank you.
Ksmithee October 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Kevin J Lennon: the only can that continues to be kicked is Obama: New Polls: RASMUSSEN: Romney 50% Obama 46% GALLUP: R 51% O 46%
Big Willy October 24, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Barbara, The best plan for Romney? Tie that pantywaist Ryan to the roof of Ann's Cadillac on their way back to Utah!
Big Willy October 24, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Barbara, The best plan for Romney? Tie that pantywaist Ryan to the roof of Ann's Cadillac on their way back to Utah!
Kevin J. Lennon October 24, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Dear ksmitheee - I'd love to engage but as Mr. Twain was also known to say - "Do not argue with an idiot they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." Have a great night.
Kevin J. Lennon October 24, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Nate Silver of the 538 blog gives Mr. Obama a 70% chance of re-election and I thought all these polls were not to be believed when Mr. Obama was polling ahead? So ksmithee hold onto those polling results .. and get ready for 4 more years of Mr. Obama.
Frederick Klein October 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM
The polls mean nothing when they indicate your candidate is losing, and they are completely accurate when they indicate that your candidate is winning. A gaffe means nothing when it's your candidate's. A gaffe is everything when it's the other candidate's gaffe. Your candidate is aggressive or assertive. Their candidate is rude. The hypocrisy (on both sides) goes on and on.
Tucker October 24, 2012 at 01:53 PM
How I feel debating with Republicans. "If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove they should value it?" Sam Harris
Amo Probus October 24, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The Quote of the Decade: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006 (it was so nice of him to give us this great quote for posterity!)
Tucker October 24, 2012 at 03:14 PM
It's a new decade.
Frederick Klein October 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM
That's the quote of the decade? No, not of the decade. I think the quote of the decade was when Bush admitted at a press conference that the main reason we went into Iraq was that Saddam Hussein had WMD's, and then said that it turned that he didn't (and, then, of course he continued on to rationalize why we went in by coming up with some other reasons). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soohikNdbWs
Richard Cranium October 24, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Intrade shows Obama's chance of winning the election at 55% today - a steady drop from 67% before the first debate. Obama still has the statistical edge in the electoral college, needing 270 to win. The election will come down to one or two swing states. It's very difficult to unseat the incumbent. The next four years will largely remain the same which I guess would be fine for me as I have done very well in the stock market. I have a very skilled accountant lined up if the statutory tax rates go up, which I expect will happen with Obama.
Daniela October 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM
So did he answer the questions? He never does. Maybe you should look into why not.
Frederick Klein October 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Daniela -- When someone gets in my face and says "answer the question answer the question answer the question", do you think I give them the satisfaction of a response? Romney was being obnoxious.
Charley October 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM
We built It - You broke It - We'll fix It YOU'RE FIRED!
Charley October 25, 2012 at 04:30 PM
President Obama, We built It - You Broke It - We'll Fix It YOU'RE FIRED!
The Mirror October 25, 2012 at 05:53 PM
@Carter, I was wondering how long it would take someone to make this about race. Congrats, Carter - you win!
Tucker October 25, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Charley, are you saying that's what Obama should say? Because I would agree. Obama-"We(Let's use Clinton as a reference) built it. You (let's use GWB as a reference) broke it. We'll(let's use Obama as a reference) will fix it. You're(Pretty much every Congressional GOP member) fired. Works for me.
Amo Probus October 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM
OK, not happy with that one? Let's try the best quote of September... "The islamophobic video made them do it" "Not my policies...)
Frederick Klein October 25, 2012 at 09:37 PM
The quote you picked was an embarrasment for approximately two weeks. The quote I picked involved getting us into a war, costing thousands of lives, for years and (so far) two presidencies. I think it's obvious which quote is worse.
Micki Martin October 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Hello all....how about you all get off the computer and go make phone calls or knock on doors for the candidate(s) of your choice? Both parties have offices in downtown Fairfield with PLENTY of opportunity to help. Don't like phoning or canvassing? I am sure they will find a way for you to help! Certainly would be time better spent!
James R M.D. October 28, 2012 at 01:20 AM
7 reasons why Romney will win : 1. Romney has the discipline to stay on message. 2. Romney wants to win more than McCain did in 2008. 3. Romney has better strategists than McCain had in 2008. 4. Romney is not afraid of Obama. 5. Romney has firmed up his support among conservatives more effectively than some had feared. 6. Romney's campaign funding will be better than McCain's was in 2008. 7. The RNC is much stronger than it was in 2008. 8. Republican activists are using the Internet more effectively than they were in 2008.


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