RI Republicans Less Thrilled With Second Obama-Romney Debate, Democrats Heartened

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney squared off in the second presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Here's how Rhode Island Republicans and Democrats reacted.


Rhode Island Democrats are more confident this time around in President Obama's debate performance over the first, while state Republicans feel Governor Mitt Romney's debate performance was less encouraging than the first. That's the major finding of the Red and Blue Rhody flash polls sent out to local political influencers immediately after the debate ended Tuesday night.

Obama and Romney faced off on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in a town hall format, with CNN's Candy Crowley moderating a debate that covered both domestic and foreign policy.

At the conclusion of the debate, Patch surveyed 52 Republicans and 51 Democrats, asking who they thought won the debate. Among those who responded, 62% of the Republicans surveyed said Romney won by a slim margin, while 8% said he won by a wide margin. Twenty-three percent said they were neutral on his performance, while another 8% of Republicans felt Obama won by a slim margin.

Democrats surveyed this time around were more confident in the President's performance. Seventy-five percent felt he won by a wide margin while 25% said President Obama won by a slim margin.

Our next survey question asked both Democrats and Republicans who they thought the national media would declare the winner. Twenty-five-percent of the Democrats surveyed thought the media would declare Obama the winner by a wide margin, while the other 75% said the media would declare Obama the winner by slim margin.

However, the Republicans we surveyed were not as confident with their candidate. Forty-six percent of the Republicans surveyed felt Barack Obama would be declared the winner by the national media. Another 23% felt he would be declared the winner by a large margin. Only 8% felt Mitt Romney would be declared the winner by a slim margin. Twenty-three percent surveyed said they were neutral on this question.

Moment of the night

When we asked both Republicans and Democrats what moment stood out during Tuesday night's debate, the answers were mixed on both sides. Both parties however, did agree that the topic of Libya and the answers each candidate supplied stood out. For the Democrats, other moments that stood out included the President pushing back on issues including Romney's foreign investments and five point plan along with Romney's stance on women's rights.

For Republicans, moments that stood out during the debate for them was Romney's answers related to growing the economy and jobs as well as his leadership he had shown throughout the debate. Other standout moments included Romney's independence policy that he talked about as well as pressuring the President on the issue of oil permits. 

Who will get more votes in Rhode Island?

We concluded our survey by asking our political influencers on both sides if they thought their candidate's performance Tuesday night would increase the number of votes they get in Rhode Island come Election Day. Fifty percent of the democrats surveyed strongly agree that the President's performance last night would increase the votes he gets in Rhode Island. While another 50% said they somewhat agree that he would get more votes.

On the Republican side, our political influencers were much more divided. Fifteen percent strongly agree that Mitt Romney will get more votes on Election Day here in Rhode Island based on last night's performance. However 23% somewhat agree that he will get more votes. Another 23% were neutral. Fifteen percent said they somewhat disagree on last night's performance getting Romney more votes while 8% strongly disagree. Fifteen percent said they had no opinion.

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swatch of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Rhode Island. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions.

Patch will be conducting Red Rhody and Blue Rhody surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Rhode Island. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in our surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Rick Couto, Regional Editor at rick.couto@patch.com.

Blue Rhody Survey Roster: Frank Hyde, Ted Jendzejec, Scott Guthrie, Gary Cote, Jared Nunes, Patricia Serpa, Kathy Patenaude, Lisa Tomasso, June Speakman, Joy Hearn, Anthony Arico, Mary Gasbarro, Jeffrey Breener, James Sheehan, Raymond Gallison, Louis Dipalma, John Edwards, Michael Sepe, John Lanni, Richard Santamaria, Joseph DeLorenzo, Judi Liner, Candy Seel, Bruce Rogers, Robert DaSilva, Joseph Polisena Frank Lombardo, Jennifer Russo, Carol Costa, Arnie Vecchione, Charles Tsonas, Vimala Phongsavanh, Gregg Amore, Joel Monteiro, Michael Morin, David Barboza, Catherine Tattrie, Kenneth Marshall, Antonio Teixeira, Raymond Gallison, Jan Malik, Marc Dubois, Mark Schwager, Carolyn Mark, Deidre Gifford, Tom Plunkett, Eugene Quinn, Chrissy Rossi, Bud Cicilline, Caroline Stouffer, Lou Raptakis, Stephen Ucci

Red Rhody Survey Roster: Glenford Shibley, Nicholas Kettle, Carl Mattson, Keith Anderson, Patricia Morgan, john Robitaille, Christopher Ottiano, Jonathan Harris, Steve Primiano, Bill DeWitt, Geoff Grove, Scott Fuller, David bates, Carol Hueston, Jim McGuire, Mark Zaccaria, Joel Johnson, Doreen Costa, Elizabeth Dolan, Robert Carlin, Ronald Warr Jr., Jack Savage, John Ward, Dan Gendron, Halsey Herreshoff, Chris Stanley, Mark Smiley, Marina Peterson, Bryan Palumbo, Joseph Golembeski, Joe Procaccini, Blake Filippi, Eileen Grossman, Mike Stenhouse, Joseph Trillo, Gail Ricky, Dawson Hodgson, Chuck Newton, Michael Isaacs, Jeff Cianciolo, Carl Hoyer, Ted Czech, Joanne Mower, Luisa Abatecola, David Sullivan, Clark Smith, Liz Smith, Mark Gee, Brad Bishop, Peter Costa Jr., Bruce Saccoccio, Mike Chippendale


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