Jul 29, 2014
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Who Won the Presidential Debate? Patch Survey Takers Say Romney

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for their first debate. We surveyed influential Illinois politicians and guests at Patch watch parties, who say the president whiffed.

Who Won the Presidential Debate? Patch Survey Takers Say Romney

Illinois Republicans said Mitt Romney "hit a home run" in the Oct. 3 presidential debate and some Democrats said President Barack Obama "looked unprepared," even if they still agree with what he said. 

Patch conducted a quick, unscientific poll among politically involved citizens following the debate and also surveyed residents at Patch-sponsored watch parties throughout the suburbs. 

Of the 19 Republicans who responded to the online survey, 16 said Romney won by a wide margin and one said he defeated Obama by a slim margin. Two Republican respondents said Obama won the debate. 

"I expected Obama to lecture Romney. I never expected Romney to lecture Obama," one Republican said. "Obama spent more time looking at his belly button like a little kid being lectured on where he went wrong."

Read Patch's live chat to re-live the top moments of the debate.

Only seven Democrats replied to the online survey, and they conceded the victory to Romney. Three said the Republican won by a slim margin and two said it was by a wide margin. 

"The president did not look properly prepared for the debate," said one Democrat who admitted to feeling less confident about Obama's re-election. "The president missed many opportunities to call Romney out on his policies," another Democrat said.

Still, some Democrats said Romney only won because he avoided specifics. 

The reaction at Patch watch parties throughout the suburbs was a bit more mixed but still slightly in favor of Romney. At Moraine Valley Community College, four people said Romney won while two said they thought Obama was better. The same results were given at a party in Yorkville. Five people at a Joliet watch party said Romney won, with just one person choosing Obama. 

Lemont Township supervisor Steve Rosendahl said at a Lemont watch party that the debate was a tie.

"It was a good debate. I enjoyed it," he said. "It's always good when you can have two candidates have a healthy debate about the issues."

A crowd of students at St. Xavier University, on the other hand, was very pro-Obama, with eight saying he won the debate and just two believing Romney had the upper hand. 

"Romney seems to only care about what Romney cares about," student Gina Savage said. "That seems like an issue to me." 

A Republican viewing party in Palatine unanimously decided Romney "smoked" Obama as the audience cheered loudly at the end of the debate.

Residents at the Flossmoor Station watch party, featured on WGN/Channel 9, were also heavily in favor of Obama, with 19 saying the president won compared to just three for Romney. 

"I found that Romney did a good job showing a personable, human side of himself," one person in Flossmoor said. "Still, he was frequently on the defensive so Obama seemed to be at the advantage."

Watch WGN's broadcast from the Patch watch party in Flossmoor. 

What was the best zinger of the night?

We also surveyed people about the best one-liners of the night, and here's a sampling of what people had to say:

  • "Since you're also going to repeal Obamacare on Day 1, you're going to have a very busy first day." -- Obama 
  • "I may not be a perfect president, which is something Gov. Romney will support." -- Obama
  • "I like Big Bird." -- Romney
  • "Math, common sense and history tells me what you say is wrong." -- Obama
  • "Is he keeping these plans secret because they're too good?" -- Obama
  • "I'm all for green energy but you could have hired two million teachers with that money." -- Romney
  • "You're entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not to your own facts." -- Romney

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