Readers Select Romney as Debate Winner

In a survey taken last week starting as soon as the debate ended between the two presidential candidates, readers indicated they think that Mitt Romney came out ahead.

The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was held on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

Shortly after the end of the debate, FedSmith asked readers for their reaction to the debate. While approximately 1500 people took the survey, the debate was actually watched by about 1300 people who responded to the survey. The survey questions were limited to those that actually watched the debate. This survey is not scientific and reflects the opinions of those readers who decided to participate.

From the responses below, it was apparent that most of those responding believed they learned more about each candidate’s position on various issues and that Mitt Romney was the winner of this first debate. About 85% said the debate did not change their mind but, in a close election, an event which can change the vote for 9% of those watching can be significant.

Note also that the majority of those who were watching the debate planned to vote for Mitt Romney (about 49%) prior to the debate while about 36% intended to vote for Barack Obama.

For comparison purposes, a Gallup poll after the debate found than 72% of those watching concluded Romney had prevailed while 20% thought President came out ahead.

Did the debate give you a better understanding of each candidate’s position on current issues?
Yes 74.1%
No 25.9%
Who do you think was the winner of the debate?
Barack Obama 19.7%
Mitt Romney 80.3%
Did the debate change your mind about who will receive your vote?
Yes 8.9%
No 85.4%
Not sure 5.7%
Who will you vote for in November?
Barack Obama 33.4%
Mitt Romney 58.7%
Other 1.6%
Undecided 6.3%
Who would you have voted for prior to the debate?
Barack Obama 36.1%
Mitt Romney 48.9%
Other 2.2%
Undecided 12.8%

As is usually the case, readers had strong opinions about the topic. Here are a few of the comments that are representative of the hundreds that were submitted.

  • Romney was able ot clarify some of his campaign issues, Obama seemed unprepared and confused, perhaps his handlers wrongly anticipated Romney’s strategy for the 1st debate.
  • To quote a comment I heard. I would vote for Mitt Romney if he danced across the stage wearing a lamp shade. I have been so frustrated with this administration.
  • I felt that the future strategies and goal differences between the 2 candidates were better explained in this debate. Debates with specific topics are much better than ads on TV for understanding the candidate’s approach to solving this nation’s problem.
  • Although I felt Romney was in control of the debate, almost everything he stated during the debate was different from his campaign message. He said he was not interested in half the country and at the debate he tired to come off as caring. It was as if he just decided to lie. That convienced me that he will say anything to get elected. He is not an honest man.
  • The debate made it obvious that Mr. Romney is a strong figure who knows how to solve problems, while Mr. Obama is still unqualified, even after almost four years of OJT.
  • It is not a true debate format being little more than an opportunity to see each candidate seek to overwhelm the other without ever saying anything of substance. It seems to be all about how to diminish the other verbally be never really getting into a meaningful and productive dialogue that is relevant to the American people.
  • Obama was too fixated on the rumors of what Mr. Romney wants to do that he was unable to successfully argue the salient points
  • Romney might have been the winner but again he changed so much from what he said in the past.
  • Romney will say ANYTHING to get elected.
  • I was not very sure before the debate and am now very committed to vote for the President, mostly because Romney managed to lie at every turn on many subjects and did so in a convincing manner with no hesitance ..I can’t and don’t trust him or anything he says, and can’t imagine him as our president!
  • It is obvious that the President is continuing to lie about his positions and only say what he thinks the American People want to hear. The fact is, if the people study the facts about what has been really going on, with President Obama’s personal agenda, they will realize his rhetoric is not truthful or factual as to what is really going on. The latest is the lies reference the Ambassador murder in Lybia.
  • Mitt Romney displayed leadership qualities, whereas Obama is a manager and not a very good one because of the economy and obviously, America/USA is not held in high esteem by our allies such as Isreal and Great Britain!
  • Mitt’s performance assured my vote for Barack Obama!
  • Romney-Ryan scares me. I think they will hurt the average person. Two rich men do not know how the middle class lives.
  • President Obama did a lot stumbling in his rebuttals all night long. President Obama expressions were like the kids who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Romney on the other hand, showed that he was well rehearsed on subject matters, showed respect by looking at Obama when Obama was talking and Romney brought out the lies that we’re being told thru the Democrat’s campaign commercials and set the record of the truth! I believe the 2nd Presidential debate will show Romney’s plans and blow Obama away!
  • Barack Obama stepped into a big mess, so I will stick with him while he try to finish cleaning it up.
  • Your choice is clear, “Live in: France in 5, Greece in 10, and Venezuela in 15 or get Mitt/Ryan and a conservative congress to change the direction of all policies NOW!

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47