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Pa. Politicos Split on Who Won Second Presidential Debate

Patch flash surveys of GOP and Democratic activists in Pennsylvania show diverging views of Tuesday's presidential debate

A non-scientific sampling of Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans shows they agree that national media will view President Barack Obama as the consensus winner of the second presidential debate - a town hall-style forum at Hofstra Univefsity.

"Overall, good debate.  Mitt shined, but was less shiny with the very assertive Mr. Obama.  Anything was better than last time for Obama, so that will be the take away from this debate," said a GOP survey taker.

Patch conducted Red Keystone and Blue Keystone flash surveys overnight of Pennsylvanians who are in involved in politics - elected officials, candidates and party activists.

Who won the debate?

Of 25 Democrats who responded, 17 said Obama won by a wide margin and four said he won by a slim margin. Two said Gov. Mitt Romney won the debate. All but one said Obama would be delcared the winner by national media.

Seventeen Republicans were more mixed in their assessment. Eight said Romney won by a slim margin while one said the former governor won by a wide margin. Three said Obama won, while four were neutral and one had no opinion.

The Republicans largely agreed that Obama would be proclaimed winner of the debate - most said by a slim margin.

Will the debate sway Pennsylvania voters?

Nine Republicans either strongly or somewhat agree that the debate will help Romney win votes in Pennsylvania. Sixteen Democrats feel that way about the debate helping Obama in the Keystone state.

One respondent commented, "The debate will not significant[ly] affect the outcome of the election. It is the ground game of persuading voters and getting them out to vote. With Obama's more than 37 field offices in Pennsylvania compared to Romney's 6, Obama is well poised to win Pennsylvania."

What was the most memorable moment?

Several Democrats and Republicans both singled out comments on Libya and moderator Candy Crowley's instant "fact check" of Romney as the debate's most memorable moment. A GOP respondent accused Crowley of "inaccurately refereeing in favor of Obama on 'terror.'"

Energy policy and women's issues were other highlights, the survey takers said.

"Contraception and women's health won back women voters who had slid to Romney," was one comment from the surveys.

Another respondent wrote that a highlight was "Governor Romney ignoring the question that women don't need to be paid the same as men for the same job and women need flexibility so they can make dinner for their family. Is this 1952?"

Here are further comments from the surveys:

  • Neither candidate really answered any question but defaulted to embellished, dueling talking points.
  • President Obama will need to continue to work hard to counteract Romney's lift from the first debate.
  • Obama helped consolidate his base; Romney eked further inroads into undecideds, most importantly.
  • I'm very happy that [Obama] stood on stage and stood for his constituents
  • I'm very concerned about all the lies Romney has been caught in. It seems he says what he thinks people want to hear and after the event they have to backtrack his statements.
  • As a person who never went to college but has achieved what I have by hard work, this concept of everyone needs to attend College is simply not true. We need everyone at all levels to make this Country great again. The working class has not been represented well in recent years.
Jack Minster October 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Pamela, you should contact your local Municipal Manager if political signs remain up 24 hours post-Election. Typical laws regarding signs, although they may differ among municipalities, state that signs may not be posted until 30 days prior to an Election, and must be removed within 24 hours after. Acta non verba. Or perhaps in your case, Acta non garbage?
gayle October 23, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Obama should have won by 75% to 25% on the debate, if he had a foreign policy. He had all the info you get when you become president (that we don't and Romney hasn't been told) and Romney met him toe to toe on issues. That was the dumbest idea to have foreign policy as a debate topic. The president should always know more than anyone about that, with all his advisers and inside info. You wouldn't have know that last night. What's he been doing these past 4 years.
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David Nova April 09, 2013 at 08:16 PM
so 'the dole' means 'food stamps'? ok. not my usual language, but i'll try to speak yours. what have you got against low income people getting enough to eat? GOP policies ruined our economy, but the number on food stamps should stay low, eh? forget it. not worthy of a response. same for your definition of 'real unemployment rate' and 'real numbers'. people who work with statistics agree on definitions of terms so they can communicate effectively, but you come along and change definitions as you please to suit your agenda. no point in arguing with that either. as for your employer who 'clung to his cash', apparently he didn't grasp that plowing his profit back into the business would have reduced his tax burden. by clinging he paid more in taxes and delayed his prosperity. he might be employing a lot more workers today. maybe that's why the job creation figure you give for the bush years is only a bit more than a third of what it was under clinton. if many small business owners are indeed 'on strike' against obama, they're cutting their own noses due to the same kind of economic illiteracy as you and your former boss exhibit. oh, and btw, 35% is nowhere near the 2nd highest tax rate in the world. google it. your economics isn't simple. it's simpleminded.

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