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Who Won the Debate? Red Mitten Members Say Romney

Wednesday's "debate was the most decisive victory since Kennedy beat Nixon,” one Republican influencer said of the first showdown between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney won Wednesday night’s presidential debate in "decisive" fashion, according to a Wednesday night flash survey of influential Republicans.

Fifty-eight Republicans from southeastern Michigan used an automated anonymous survey tool to offer their opinions about the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Romney.

Eighteen Red Mitten responses were collected over a 90-minute period. This poll differed from our previous Red Mitten survey in that responses were taken in a much shorter time frame.

“Tonight's debate was the most decisive victory since Kennedy beat Nixon,” one Republican influencer said. “It changes the campaign narrative and changes the momentum toward Mitt Romney.”

Sixteen of the Republican insiders said Romney won the debate “by a wide margin.” Two said they were neutral.

“Mitt jumped out the gate and took the lead and never got behind,” a respondent said.

Republican insiders lauded Romney for focusing on specific issues, for his stance on taxes and for his commitment to eliminate “Obamacare.”

In addition, 17 of 18 Republican respondents said they believe Romney’s performance in the debate made it more likely that he would win the election.

“Romney was presidential, knowledgeable and confident as well as respectful throughout the debate,” one Republican influencer said. “His closing statement ‘keep America strong and get America working again’ is right on target for voters.”

Thirty-one Democrats from southeastern Michigan also were questioned, and five responses were collected over the same 90-minute period.

The Democratic respondents were split over who won the debate: two picked Obama, two picked Romney and one was neutral.

Democratic influencers supported Obama for his stance on Medicare, Social Security and health care, while others criticized the president for his lack of passion in the debate.

“President O. needs to hold Mitt's toes to the fire and not say ‘I agree with the Governor’ of the things he agrees about,” one respondent said. “It's not necessary and makes Mitt look better than he is.”

The Red and Blue Mitten Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Michigan. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to today’s questions. Surveys were conducted Wednesday, Oct. 3, between 10:30 p.m. and midnight.

Patch will be conducting Red Mitten surveys for Republicans and Blue Mitten surveys for Democrats throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals in Michigan. 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 Associate Regional Editor John Hetzler at john.hetzler@patch.com.

Red Michigan roster: Prudy Adam (Genesee County Republican Chair); Neal Barnett (Bloomfield Township Trustee); Brian Belesky; Cindy Berry (Candidate for Chesterfield Township Clerk); Mark Bliss (Candidate for State Rep); Tony Brown (Fenton Township Trustee); Dino Bucci (Macomb Township Trustee); Jim Carson (Dexter Village trustee); Jacob Collison; Helen Cost (Past President of Royal Oak Republican Women’s Club); Sean Cotton; Hugh Crawford (State Rep); Kathy Crawford (Oakland County Commissioner); Joseph Daly; Dan Devine (Bloomfield Township Treasurer); Chuck Dittmar; James Drolett (Candidate for Dexter Township Supervisor); Janet Dunn (Macomb Township Trustee); Ron Dwyer; Ryan Eaton; Kathy Elliott; Justin Fischer (Novi City Council); Anthony Forlini (State Rep); Becky Freeman; Scott Freeman; Bob Gatt (Mayor of Novi); Matt Germane (Hartland Township Trustee); Joe Green; Pat Hardy (Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner); Karen Jacobsen; Corinne Khederian (Bloomfield Township Trustee); Richard Lerner (Farmington Hills City Council); C.J. Maier (Candidate for sheriff in Livingston County); Mike McCready (Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner, Candidate for State Rep); Sarah McLure (Bloomfield Hills Mayor); Rob Montilla (Chairman of the Republican Committee of Northern Macomb County); Drex Morton; Nancy Nevers (Macomb Township Trustee); Brian Perks; Mark Ouimet (State Rep); Thomas Pustelak; Harley Rider (Dexter Township Clerk); Janet Roncelli (Bloomfield Township Clerk); Jim Runestad (Oakland County Commissioner); Joe Sabatini (Macomb County Commissioner); Aaron Sarver (U-M Dearborn College Republicans Co-Chairman); John A. Scott (Oakland County Commissioner); Bill Shaw (Candidate for Oakland County Commissioner); Pat Somerville (State Rep); David Staudt (Mayor Pro-Tem of Novi); Shelley Taub (Bloomfield Township Clerk); Aaron Tuckfield; Brad Urdan (candidate for state Rep); Wanda Warsinski (President of Royal Oak Republican Women’s Club); Paul Welday; Pamela Williams; John Wolfsberger (Macomb Township Precinct Delegate); Wayne Wrobel (Novi City Council); Tom Yaschen (Chesterfield Township Trustee)

Blue Mitten roster: Vicki Barnett, State House Rep; Joanne Braund, Secretary, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Rose Christoph; Dorian Coston, candidate for State Rep; Colleen Crossey, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Gary Cynowa, President of the North Macomb Democratic Club and District 10 Precinct Delegate; Susan Czarnecki; Judy Daubenmier, chair of Livingston County Democrats; Shawn Desai, Democratic Candidate for State Representative 47th District; Gretchen Driskell, Mayor of Saline; Gene Farber, West Bloomfield Township Board Trustee; Marcia Gershenson, Oakland County commissioner; Fred Hoffman; Mitzi Hoffman, former Chair, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Marilyn Krok, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Kathi Kuehnel, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Carmella Langley, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Erik Lindquist; Deb Lobring; Jeff Long; Daniel Marcin, former candidate for U.S. Representative; Gwen Markham, candidate for Oakland County commissioner; Richard Miller, president of the Wyandotte Democratic Club; Jim Nash, Oakland County commissioner; Kevin Shopshire, member of Livingston County Democrats; Mike Smith, candidate for White Lake Township Supervisor; Walt Sobczak, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Mark Steckloff; Regina Strong, former candidate for State Rep; Scott Warheit, Royal Oak Crime Prevention Council, and 2011 candidate for Royal Oak City Comission; Karen Zyczynski, Oakland County Democratic Delegate

Frank October 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
President Obama-He won't say how he fixed the economy....oops, that right..He didn't.
Dale Behler October 16, 2012 at 01:19 PM
A vote for the Libertarian Party is a vote for the Democrats. It currently splits the Republican ticket but has little impact on the Democrats. A centrist third party which would appeal to some independents who are slightly left or right of center would be nice. Both the Democrats and the Republicans seem to be for certain special interest segments of the population and they do not look out for the rest of us who do fit into their box of preferred citizens.
FHVoice October 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Stop lying: "Vietnam was started by President Lyndon Johnson". Actually, our involvement in Vietnam started under Eisenhower.
John David October 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
FHVoice, our involvement in Vietnam may have started under Eisenhower and continued under Kennedy, but Master Chief is correct, it wasn't until the Tonkin Gulf Resolution under Johnson that the use of conventional troops were authorized for use and the rapid escalation of the conflict into a war, which resulted in the deaths of over 50,000 American service members. So, until Johnson, our involvement in Vietnam was limited and did not amount to a full fledged war with U.S. involvement.

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