In the immediate aftermath of the first presidential debate, held at the University of Denver Wednesday night and moderated by PBS’ Jim Lehrer, it seems that influential Connecticut Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing: Mitt Romney won the night.
In Patch Red Nutmeg and Blue Nutmeg FlashPolls of political influencers from both sides of the aisle taken just after the debate ended, all but one of the respondents said they thought Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had won the debate.
In fact, 12 of 15 Republicans who answered the late-night survey thought Romney had won by “a large margin,” while two of the three Democrats who answered the question thought Romney had won by a slim margin. A lone Democratic respondent thought Obama won by a wide margin.
“Mitt Romney appeared confident and presidential,” one Republican surveyed said. “Obama appeared frazzled because it's been years since his prepared statements have been challenged.”
In response to the question, “Who will be the consensus winner as declared by the national media,” though, the results were mixed. Most still thought Romney would be declared the winner, but two Republicans were “neutral” on the question, and one thought Obama would be tabbed the winner by a slim margin. All three Democrats thought Romney would be declared the winner.
There was disagreement among the Republicans on the question of what would resonate the most among Connecticut conservatives. Some thought Romney’s articulation of his tax plan and how it would help grow the economy and help middle-class families would energize the state’s Republicans, while others pointed to his argument for putting health care back in the hands of the states and his branding of Obama’s “trickle-down government philosophy.”
All the Republican respondents thought that Romney’s debate performance either strongly or somewhat improved his chances of winning the presidency in November.
Among Republican respondents, the excitement over Romney’s performance was evident.
“Governor Romney inspired excitement and enthusiasm in his base and the independent voters that cannot be duplicated by the Democratic base that is simply crossing its fingers and hoping for the best,” one GOP respondent said. “Bravo to our next President Mitt Romney.”
“Mitt was brilliant and the president missed his teleprompter,” another said.
One Republican respondent was more muted in his outlook.
“Romney still has ground to make up, but his performance tonight should move some undecided voters his way,” he said.
One Democratic respondent to the FlashPoll thought Obama drew a clear line between his economic strategy and Romney’s, but another was disappointed that “Obama did not challenge Romney on the ‘47%’ comment” and thought the Republican candidate “made a fairly good case for his jobs plan.”
None of the Democrats exuded much confidence that Obama made a great case for re-election; two of them were “neutral” on the question of whether the president’s performance made it more likely that he would earn another term in office and one “somewhat disagreed.”
“I’m very disappointed in President Obama’s energy levels tonight,” one Democrat said.
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 Wednesday night's questions. Surveys were conducted between 10:30 and midnight on Oct. 3.
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 lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Corey Fyke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Jonathan Steinberg, 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.
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.