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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.

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 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
Brad Faxton October 05, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Fox news backed it up by stating that they were embarrassed by the overwhelming audacity he could show when cheating and lying. Same report on Drudge.
mij October 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Bradley Looked like a hanky when NBC showed it.
LLOMIS October 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Politics aside, Obama is the best choice
Vicky Kujawa October 06, 2012 at 02:20 AM
TelePrompTer Jesus Epic Fail.
Guido McGinty October 06, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Token Lefty: "the Bush tax cuts DID NOT CREATE ECONOMIC GROWTH and the Bush tax cuts INCREASED UNEMPLOYMENT at an unprecedented pace." Yes, stealing less money from productive people is a bad thing. Attention lefty, tax policy and job creation do not exist in a vacuum. Please explain how tax cuts cause unemployment.
Guido McGinty October 06, 2012 at 04:22 AM
The Geeeetar man knows how to copy and paste. Well done Geeeetar man. What's your next trick?
Guido McGinty October 06, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Yes, politics aside, vote for this politician. Wait, what?
Guido McGinty October 06, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Barry Obama is quite the plagiarist. http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/04/obama-plagiarizes-own-debate-promises-fr Does Barry think that his supporters are that stupid? If so, at least he's right about one thing.
LLOMIS October 06, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Guido McGinty - ok your right - that was funny :)
Michael Ioffe October 06, 2012 at 04:51 AM
It is so pity that we have more than one year of campaign and only 90 minutes of real conversation, in which maybe no more than 10 minutes of disclosure of differences between two candidates.
McCloud October 06, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Did you even need 10 minutes of disclosure to determine the differences between two candidates?
John Fernandes October 06, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Big Turd wants to fund his tax cut on the back of Big Bird. Mitt and Ann refuse to show their tax returns for 2005-2009, since their accountants said they paid about 14%, the only reason to hide those returns is the IRS amnesty for rich tax cheats with secret Swiss accounts. After the UBS whistle blower case the IRS let rich tax cheats "pay the fine" instead of trial for the felony they committed. Maybe they should be in the big house rather than the White House.
Deadcatbounce October 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM
From mark steyn ... Will Big bird ever leave the government nest? The Corporation of Public Broadcasting receives nearly half-a-billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which it disburses to PBS stations, who, in turn, disburse it to Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. I don't know what Big Bird gets, but, according to Sen. Jim DeMint, the President of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Sen. Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: they've been in "public service" their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires. Mitt's decision to strap Big Bird to the roof of his station wagon and drive him to Canada has prompted two counter-arguments from Democrats: 1) half a billion dollars is a mere rounding error in the great sucking maw of the federal budget, so why bother? 2) everybody loves Sesame Street, so Mitt is making a catastrophic strategic error. On the latter point, whether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it's sold nigh on a billion bucks' worth of merchandising sales (that's popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything.
Deadcatbounce October 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
And for the next debate, instead of a candidate slumped at the lectern like a muppet whose puppeteer has gone out for a smoke, maybe Elmo's guy could shove his arm up the back of the presidential suit.
Deadcatbounce October 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Yet, amidst the otherwise total wreckage of obma's performance, the Democrats seemed to think that Mitt's assault on Sesame Street was a misstep from whose tattered and ruined puppet-stuffing some hay is to be made. "WOW!!! No PBS!!! WTF how about cutting congress's stuff leave big bird alone," tweeted Whoopi Goldberg. Even the president mocked Romney for "finally getting tough on Big Bird" – not in the debate, of course, where such dazzling twinkle-toed repartee might have helped, but a mere 24 hours later, once the rapid-response team had directed his speechwriters to craft a line, fly it out to a campaign rally and load it into the prompter, he did deliver it without mishap.
Deadcatbounce October 06, 2012 at 02:25 PM
The small things are not unimportant – and not just because, when "small" is defined as anything under 11 figures, "small" is a big part of the problem. If Americans can't muster the will to make Big Bird leave the government nest, they certainly will never reform Medicare. Just before the debate in Denver, in the general backstage melée, a commentator pointed out Valerie Jarrett, who is officially "Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs," a vital position which certainly stimulates the luxury-length business-card industry. Not one in 100,000 Americans knows what she looks like, but she declines to take the risk of passing among the rude peasantry without the protection of a Secret Service detail. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a private jet to fly him home from Washington every weekend.
Mara Meyer October 06, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Did anyone listen to the substance of what was said? Eliminating entitlements and relegating governance to the states? School Choice, inititating marketing for a all public schools? Limiting tax deductions to a lump sum figure, of say $17,000 - offered as a cafeteria plan...come on folks the MATH doesn't add up!
Mara Meyer October 06, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Do you think the STATE OF ILLINOIS has the capability to GOVERN which benefits you get from healthcare? They can't handle what they do at the present.
McCloud October 06, 2012 at 06:15 PM
What governing body has the capability?
Abigail October 06, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Face it, Dems, your guy flat out lost the debate. He didn't have his teleprompter and no ear bud to get his talking points from Axelrod. The Democrats would have done better if they had put an empty chair on stage with Romney.
Doug Daluga October 06, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Great comment... just not true.
RB October 06, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I was open minded going into the debate. I expected Obama to tell the truth and me more motivated than he was. I hoped for Romney to tell the truth and expected him to perform well, as he did in many primary debates. Well, Obama told the truth and Romney lied though his teeth. He dismissed everything he's been saying about the $$5T tax cut, no coverage for Pre existing conditions etc. So, the winner in style: Romney. The winner in truthiness: clearly Mr. Obama. Romney lies will catch up with him, in about 10 days. Enjoy the bounce.
Deadcatbounce October 06, 2012 at 08:20 PM
You mean an empty highchair
Just Sayin October 06, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Just back from London...many Brits asked me if this election is as big a circus as it looks. My only response...you bet...the circus rolls into town every four years and this year...Mitt Romney (BTW... they call him Twit) is the star biggest clown. They all laughed in agreement. Just watched the debate this morning. Twit was as polished as they get. And why not...his handlers have been grooming and massaging him for weeks now. So polished and empty... and skillful of lying. He is a shoe in for President of Stepford. Barack was capable of much more...makes one wonder if this was not a trap set on the Romster. I mean...the Twit must have thought something was up. Who wouldn't. Well...I hope it haunts the Romster and his club in the quiet hours. Looking forward to 'The Greatest Show on Earth' in rings 2 and 3 coming soon.
Just Sayin October 06, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Abigail...only empty heads see empty chairs. Face it, Ab, you are a dunce.
Just Sayin October 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM
One can not plagiarize ones self, ya Guido.
Guido McGinty October 07, 2012 at 02:51 AM
"One can not plagiarize ones self, ya Guido." So Barry has two things going for him. He's not a plagiarist and his supporters are dim bulbs.
Guido McGinty October 07, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The math never adds up with these creatures. Best to limit their power and influence in our lives.
Just Sayin October 07, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Guido... You accuse someone of plagiarizing their own words...and you think his followers are dim bulbs? That's a laugh.
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