Your view of Monday night’s presidential debate on foreign policy may come down to who you already supported for president.
A Patch flash poll of influential Republicans and Democrats in Georgia found that opinions on who won generally fell along party lines: Republicans thought Gov. Mitt Romney was the winner and Democrats thought President Barack Obama prevailed.
It was a strong contrast to the first time the candidates faced off on Oct. 3, when the consensus of both parties was that Obama looked bored or annoyed and that Romney succeeded in presenting himself as presidential.
Republican respondents said they felt Romney won the final debate, with 26.7 percent saying it was “by a wide margin” and 40 percent “by a slim margin.” Another 23.3 percent were neutral on the question and few Republicans gave the win to Obama.
Democrats also said their own candidate won Monday’s debate, but they were much stronger in their assessment, with 90.5 percent saying Obama won “by a wide margin” and 9.5 percent saying he won “by a slim margin.”
The flash poll of elected officials, candidates and activists is unscientific. Thirty Republicans and 21 Democrats took part.
Several Republican respondents said they thought Obama was aggressive and “disrespectful” in his tone, while they saw Romney as calm and in command of his arguments. Democratic respondents saw Romney as a flip-flopper who was loose with the facts.
Respondents in both parties predicted that the national media would declare Obama the winner, with 57 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats saying the president would get the nod of pundits.
Respondents in both parties were mixed on whether Monday night’s debate would help their candidate make a stronger showing in Georgia. No clear pattern emerged, but several respondents noted that Georgia remains a Red State that should be safe for Romney.
One Republican respondent predicted:
“Georgia will vote Romney, the nation will vote for Obama, the Republicans retain the House, the Democrats will retain the Senate by a slim margin. Get ready for 4 more years that look just like the last.”
What do you think? How much do the debates matter? Do you think Republicans will win Georgia by as wide a margin as they did in the 2008 presidential election?