New Jersey political insiders declared their party’s candidate the winner of the second presidential debate Tuesday night. However, most believe President Barack Obama will be the consensus winner among national media outlets over Mitt Romney.
According to a Patch flash poll sent to elected officials and political party insiders, 24 out of 27 Democrats responding believed Obama was the victor, while 20 out of 24 Republicans declared Romney the winner.
“I think Romney had a better understanding and explanation of how to create jobs and grow the economy. He looked much more presidential,” one Republican said.
The results of Patch’s second presidential debate poll of New Jersey insiders contrast with those from last week’s head-to-head, in which 100 percent of Republicans surveyed and 41 percent of Democrats gave the victory to Romney.
In Patch’s first debate poll, 70 percent of all respondents believed Romney would be declared the “consensus winner” in that showing.
Approximately 82 percent of those surveyed, including 16 of 24 Republicans, believed Obama would be declared the “consensus winner” of the second debate by national media outlets.
“Obama was back,” one Democrat declared.
Many respondents made mention of moderator Candy Crowley in pointing to debate moments that would stand out among viewers.
In response to the question “What moment will stand out in the mind of conservatives in New Jersey?” one Republican said “Candy Crowley acting more like Obama's debate partner than a moderator.”
“It was disappointing to see Obama get away with his misrepresentation of the Benghazi attack,” that Republican said. “We know the administration—and Obama himself—repeatedly denied what common sense told us from the start: that it was a premeditated act of terror, not a spontaneous demonstration that spiraled out of control.
Democrats also highlighted the Benghazi attack exchange as a highlight of the evening, though from a decidedly different perspective.
When asked what moment of the debate would stand out to progressives and liberals in New Jersey, one Democratic respondent answered: “Obama's response on women's health issues and the Presidential response on the Benghazi attack issues by Romney which was misrepresented. Obama came out as a fighter and advocate for the middle class, veterans, senior citizens, working 47 percent that Romney called victims and not taking personal responsibility.”
That same Democrat criticized Romney’s tone during the debate: “Romney was rude to Candy Crowley and was flustered when he was challenged on his positions by the President.”
Patch Red and Blue Garden State surveys were sent to 190 Democrats and 145 Republicans. If you are an elected official or party leader and would like to be included in future surveys, contact Associate Regional Editor Jacklyn Corley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Regional Editor Mike Pignataro at email@example.com