Final Presidential Debate: Who California Political Insiders Say Won

California partisans pick their winner of Monday’s final presidential debate in Patch’s weekly survey.

Patch surveyed influential California partisans following and like the two candidates, the two parties seemed to agree on very little.

As expected, the parties sided with their respective candidates, with 11 of the 13 Democratic respondents naming President Obama as the clear winner. On the Republican side, however, only 4 percent said Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won the debate, but 10 out of the 18 respondents said the Republican challenger still won by a slim margin. Of all the respondents surveyed the answers were split, with both candidates receiving 14 votes each for the debate win.

The Patch surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but are an effort to listen to a range of local Republican and Democratic political insiders, activists, leaders and elected officials in California. All of the individuals who took part in the survey agreed to answer questions following each of the presidential debates.

Other points of interest of the survey:

  •  While Romney’s “binders full women” was the buzz quote of the previous debate, Obama’s “horses and bayonets” comment went viral. When Romney said the U.S. “Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1916,” Obama countered, saying:

“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."

  • Both Democrats and Republicans pointed to that comment as a standout moment. One Democrat wrote that the Democrats will be “energized” following Obama’s comment. But one GOP respondent wrote that Obama’s comment was “ridiculous.”

“CA Conservatives love their military and Obama doesn’t…it’s easy,” the Republican respondent wrote.

  • Other key moments for GOP respondents were Romney’s criticisms on Obama’s “apology tour,” his responses on policies in Russia, Iran and Israel and his five-point plan for economic recovery.
  • Democrats wrote that Romney often times did not have a clear, distinguishable stance from Obama, with one writing, “Romney agreed with everything Obama was doing.” Another key moment for one Democrat was Obama’s challenge that Romney was inconsistent with his policy statements.  One Democrat respondent said a key moment was Obama’s comment that Romney’s foreign policy is outdated, inspired by the 1980’s, his social policy is for the 1950’s, and has an economic policy for the 1920’s.
  • Both parties agreed that the national media would portray Obama as the winner. On the Republican side, 38.9 percent said that Obama would be declared the winner by a slim margin, versus 22.8 percent believing Romney would be narrowly declared the winner.
  • Republican respondents were divided on whether Romney’s performance would increase the number of votes he wins in California, with 27.8 percent saying they “strongly agree” it would, but with 30.3 percent saying they were neutral on the topic.
  • 69.2 percent of Democrats said they “strongly agree” that Obama’s performance in the final debate would positively affect the number of California votes he receives.

Patch will be conducting Red California and Blue California surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in California. 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 Sandra Oshiro.

Jessica October 24, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Democrats claimed Obama won the 2nd debate, only problem was Jimmy Kimmel had his people asking them BEFORE the debate occured!!!!
Jessica October 24, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Democrats claimed Obama won the 2nd debate, only problem was Jimmy Kimmel had his people asking them BEFORE the debate occured!!!!
Bob Bergstrom October 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM
The last debate will quickly be forgotten as more bad news for Obama is coming out regarding the Embassy debacle. The White House knew in the first two hours that this was a terrorist attack and for the next 7 hrs did nothing. We had forces within 400 miles that could have responded - - - - This is not going away. Obama tried to cover up the reason since he is perceived as being tough on terrorism.
Paul B October 24, 2012 at 08:56 PM
To quote the great comedian Dave Chapelle... "They stink....and I hate 'em" - That goes for the both of them. Hopefully one day we can get a 3rd, Independent rational party that can take the good from both sides, work together and we can all live in harmony... I won't hold my breath.
Carol Elliott October 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Right now he is flying around the country telling citizens they need to "Trust" him. He has run out of excuses. He and his administration lied about the Benghazi attack from day one and now there is absolute proof..


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