A Patch survey of influential California political leaders showed Democrats uniformly awarding victory in Tuesday's debate to President Obama, while only 10 out of 18 Republicans surveyed said Mitt Romney was the clear winner.
On the Democratic side, 12 of 14 said Obama was the winner by a wide margin while two said he won by a slim margin.
Five out of 18 Republicans said Romney won by a wide margin, five said he won by a slim margin, five said it was a draw and three said Obama won by a slim margin.
The Patch Red and Blue California 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 California.
Other points of interest from the survey:
- While only three Republicans said Obama won the debate, 12 of the 18 surveyed said the media would declare Obama the winner.
- By contrast, 13 out of 14 Democrats said the media would portray Obama as the winner, with one saying the media would suggest it was a draw.
- In written statements, several Republicans said the key moment for conservatives would be the discussion of whether Obama portrayed the attacks on the U.S. Embassy as an act of terrorism the morning after they occurred. Three respondents suggest Obama was lying in his claims that he did say the attacks were terrorism, two chided moderator Candy Crowley for backing up his claim. Seven out of 18 GOP respondents mentioned the Libya exchange as a key moment in the debate for conservatives, though only one said it would be a key moment for swing voters.
- Five out of 14 Democrats mentioned the Libya exchange as a key moment for swing voters and three out of 14.
- One GOP respondent wrote: "you'd have to be brain dead or willfully stupid to think that re-electing [Obama] is a good thing, but California is full of both types, so the First Failure will carry the state and we will re-elect Fineswine."
- Nine out of 18 Republicans said they "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that Romney's performance would help him win votes in California, while six said they were "neutral" about the statement. Three said they somewhat disagreed.
- Thirteen out of 14 Democratic responders said they "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that Obama's performance would help him win votes in California, with one saying he was "neutral."
Obama and Romney next meet on Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. Stay tuned to Patch for continuing coverage of the presidential debates.
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.