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Twin Cities Politicians Say Romney Won First Presidential Debate

Looking energetic and sounding "presidential," Mitt Romney turned back President Barack Obama in the first of three debates between the two men vying for the top office in the country. Our panel of local politicos weighed in late last night.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney looked less like a "frontrunner" and more like a man on the attack Wednesday night, emerging as the winner of the first presidential debate, according to participants in the area's "Red Twin Cities" and "Blue Twin Cities" surveys, conducted by Patches around the Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs and exurbs.

The "flash" style polls were conducted just hours after the debate from Denver came to close. 

Obama "missed his opporunity," according to one Democractic member of our panels. Another called him "rusty" in his first debate since winning two of the three presidential debates back in 2008. 

Demcocrats were defensive of the president, not surprisingly. However, more than half of our pollsters said Mitt Romney won the night by a slim margin, with only two of our members saying Barack Obama won the night. 

Half were neutral, with one saying Obama "had more substance" but Romney "had more fight."

"President Obama did not go after Mitt Romney on his lack of clarity on the Key Issues like the spending cuts, bank regulations and health care," said a DFLer.

Republicans were quick to say Romney was the clear-cut winner, with Minnesota GOPers lining up to say the candidate "looked like a true conservative" and "refuted" many of Obama's claims. 

Of our respondents to the poll, done immediately after the debate, 75 percent said they felt Romney won by a slim to wide margin. The remaining 25 percent were neutral, or thought it was a draw. None of the Republicans felt their candidate lost the night. 

A high point was "Romney going after Obama’s subsidies for green energy, which could have instead hired teachers," an influencer said. 

The Road Ahead

Republicans think Romney needs to keep it up in order to "have a chance" on the first Tuesday of November. 

"America got to see Romney's grasp of the obvious [issues]," one Republican sated. 

Another said Romney needs as good of a performance in the next two debates, set for Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.

"He needs to come out ahead," the political influencer added. 

Democrats thought the debate probably tightened a race that had been tilting Obama's way in most polls last month. Half said the debate did not increase his chances of winning. 

Still, the message needs to spread, Democrats said, that Romney's debate points differed from his campaign points.

"Look at what he's saying on the campaign vs. what he said last night. Totally different," one said. 

Kathy Rendall October 05, 2012 at 03:59 PM
It's obvious who won the presidential debate, Mitt Romney. I was a strong Obama supporter but not anymore. Obama does not understand simple economics and because of this lack of understanding, he simply is not able to improve our sluggish economy. Also, I'm more than tired of seeing Barack apologize to Middle eastern terrorist about that Islamic film that was released and is "claimed" by the Obama administration the film caused the killings of several ambassadors at our Libya Embassy. This is hogwash. It's clear Obama's definition of "transforming" America includes doing away with our Constitution and civil liberties that we all enjoy.
Washington County Watchdog October 06, 2012 at 03:59 AM
+1 Kathy. CNN, MSNBC, and even Letterman admitted Mitt clearly won the debate. Obama struggled to defend his "government can solve any problem" stance. Whether it was on the subject of the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, over and over Romney effectively explained Obama and the government has failed. As usual the debate moderator was quick to cut Mitt off and change the subject when he was making good points. As usually Obama had more time to not only explain himself but go into his long winded utopian stories of some random person who made it through tough times on his government programs. But I'm sure Obama wouldn't show up to a fair debate, let alone one that'd give Mitt the extra five minutes to talk.
Obama looked uncomfortable, which seems odd considering he's on TV practically 24/7.
Carol Turnbull October 07, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Kathy Rendall says "I was a strong Obama supporter but not anymore. Obama does not understand simple economics..." From that I'm quite sure you are an expert in economic complexities; however, you don't understand simple current events. "Several ambassadors" were not killed at our "Libya Embassy." There is only one ambassador per country. And the tragedy happened at a Consulate, not the Embassy. You say, "It's clear Obama's definition of 'transforming' America includes doing away with our Constitution and civil liberties that we all enjoy." Sorry, that's not clear to me, Kathy. Can you provide some examples? I myself am "more than tired" of hearing people rage away at Obama on the basis of chain e-mails, or FOX news, or whatever, with no facts to back them up. (And when were you an Obama supporter, exactly? When you thought he might have a magic wand to wave and thus spare us a slow recovery from the economic mess we presented him with?)
Michele Olson October 07, 2012 at 04:53 AM
How could you possibly say these things and have EVER been a "strong Obama supporter?"
Michele Olson October 07, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Were you watching the same debate? Romney kept ignoring his own time limits!
Michele Olson October 07, 2012 at 04:58 AM
PRESIDENT Obama is on tv practically 24/7 because he's the PRESIDENT. And his job is to be presidential.
Joseph Robert October 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Kathy, face it! You were never a "strong Obama supporter." LOL. You are a paid, Romney campaign worker!
Joseph Robert October 07, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Top fact checkers and leading media outlets like the Associated Press and FactCheck.org have shown that Romney lied at least 27 times in the 38 minutes that he spoke. I thought the Republican Party was the party of integrity. With all of Romney's lying, how can American voters expect him to honestly run the country? They can't !
Armine October 08, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I can't believe you think Obamna is telling the truth when he says everything is going great. Check with your freinds and neighbors to find out how things are going. Be careful who you believe as "fact checkers". The liberal media will publish anything if it will help Obama get re-elected. Acording to Obama, if he disagrees with Romney, Romney must be lying. Have your so called "fact checkers" verify the promises made by Obama to the actual results. The issue in Libya should be that the U.S. knew the risks in Libya long before the incident. Had the U.S. withdrawn these people when they should have, they would still be alive. In a sense our own government must accept some of the responsibility for the deaths.
Dennis Anderson October 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Please don't miss-represent yourself as a former Obama supporter. If you think total deregulation of the banking industry will solve our economic problems, study the Great Depression. If you think deregulation of the energy industry will create thousands of new jobs, look to China with its lack regulation and the thick cloud of pollution that can be seen is satellite photos. Want to have US troops fighting in yet another war in the Middle East, then vote for Mitt Romney.
Joseph Robert October 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Which is it, Mitt? “We are going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent. “ – Mitt Romney, Republican politician and presidential candidate “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut, of the scale you are talking about.” – Mitt Romney, Republican politician and presidential candidate Mitt, are you full of sh**t? Watch Mitt on video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJzUQwJFW7k
Joseph Robert October 08, 2012 at 11:30 PM
“He’s certainly being dishonest about his own record! When he says that he had the endorsement of the NRA, he did not. When he says he didn’t raise taxes, and in fact, there were $500 million in fees raised during this time. When he talks about my record or John McCain’s. “He’s making up stuff, it’s just incredible. In Arkansas, we call it DISHONESTY.” - Mike Huckabee, Fox News commentator and former Governor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av3q7-a-ayc&feature=player_embedded#! P.S - Sound familiar with Romney’s very dishonest tactics -- 27 lies in 38 minutes -- speaking in the first debate with Obama! Yep, Romney lies a lot!
Michele Olson October 08, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Armine, where in the debate did the President say that "everything was going great," and I don't believe he said that "if he disagrees with Romney, Romney must be lying." Did you WATCH the debate? There was no "liberal media" there, only two men and a moderator, and to be fair, they each ran over their time limits. As for Libya, in spite of what many people believe, government workers often face dangerous conditions, but they do so because it is their job and their duty. (And something to think about when complaining about paying out pensions.)
Joseph Robert October 09, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Romney will LIE and say anything to get elected! Watch this video as Romney debates Romney! 1 million views already! Bottomline, Romney cannot be trusted to lead our GREAT NATION! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPgfzknYd20
James Thomas October 10, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Joseph, how much is your salary from the Obama Campaign? I bet you're one of the 1%.
James Thomas October 10, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Joseph, how much is your salary from the Obama Campaign? I bet you're one of the 1%.
James Thomas October 10, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Joseph, how much is your salary from the Obama Campaign? I bet you're one of the 1%.
James Thomas October 10, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Joseph, how much is your salary from the Obama Campaign? I bet you're one of the 1%.
Doomsdaydaughter October 10, 2012 at 07:37 PM
"If you can't beat your opponent's ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from." - Barack Obama, October 27th, 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B18lXQDGwpg
Karl October 11, 2012 at 03:29 AM
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