While political pundits duke it out over who won the final presidential debate, Patch decided to take a different route.
Instead of relying on professional analysts to tell us whether President Barack Obama or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took home the win, we turned to our readers.
We surveyed 132 influential conservatives and liberals right after the debate and asked them their thoughts on the biggest moments of the Oct. 22 showdown between Obama and Romney.
One Republican who thought Romney won by a wide margin wrote, “Barack says he has kept us safe for the last 4 year … explain that to the families of victims of Fast & Furious and the terrorists attack on Benghazi.”
A Democrat who thought Obama won by a wide margin said one particular moment would stand out in the minds of Florida’s swing voters: “(The) President’s recalling of his visit to Israel as a candidate; not a fundraiser like Romney.”
Another Democrat who thought Obama won had this to say: “I like this Romney on foreign policy better than the one of the last five year, but which one would we get?”
Saying Obama won by a slim margin, a Republican respondent wrote this: “Obama again came across as the serious aggressor and at times too aggressive. There was a certain lack of civility on President Obama’s part that may offend Florida voters.”
A Democrat respondent had a different take. “The looks on Romney’s face while Obama spoke, he looked thwarted.”
One Republican offered advice for voters, no matter their party. “It’s time for the American voter to make their decision and do the research needed to make an informed vote.”
Tonight’s debate was the last one prior to the Nov. 6 general election.
Who do you think won the Oct. 22 debate? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
The "Red Tampa Bay" and “Blue Tampa Bay” Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Tampa Bay. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted Oct. 22 between 10:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. Oct. 23. Patch will be conducting Red Tampa Bay and Blue Tampa Bay surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Tampa Bay. (If you are an activist, candidate, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in an occasional survey that lasts just a few minutes, please email Chris.Taylor@Patch.com.)
Red Tampa Bay Roster: Shirley Wood (Pinecrest912 Leader) Guyann Bracken-Fay (Liberty School) Chris Shalosky (Fishhawk Republican Club President) Kathy Brown (Fishhawk Republican Club Membership + 912 activist) Stacy Feiler (Liberty Tree Consulting) Deborah Cox-Roush (Hillsborough County Republican Party, former chairwoman; Committee on Arrangements at Republican National Convention) Clif Curry (Local attorney) Art Wood (Hillsborough County Republican Party, Chair) Betty Jo Tompkins (Candidate, House District 59) Mark Proctor (Member of the Hillsborough County Republican Party Executive Committee) Kristina Lade (Manatee County activist) William Lade (Manatee County activist) Clint Miller (East Republican Club, Republican Eexcutive Club) Vanessa Baugh (Republican Manatee County Commission candidate) Jenah Victor (Manatee County Republican Party activist) Toni Parsons (Manatee County Republican volunteer) Carol Whitmore (Manatee County Commissioner) Erwin Beck (President of Republican Club of On Top of The World) Nancy Riley (Pinellas Republican Executive Committee member) Norm Roche (Pinellas County Commissioner) Karen Seel (Pinellas County Commissioner) Joe Paige (Contractor, part of Patriots Inc.) Ginger Rockney-Johnson (Member of the North Tampa Chamber of Commerce ) Bob Silah (Founder Operation Helping Hand) Becky Burgue (Retired Gaither teacher and member of Working Women of Tampa Bay) Amber France (Member of the Carrollwood Area Business Association) Julie Higgins (Carrollwood area activist) Darrel Honick (Pinellas County activist) Allison Kuhlman (Pinellas County activist) William Steven (Pinellas County activist) Jacksons Marrero (Pinellas County activist) Jane Norrie (Pinellas County activist) Bob Newcomb (Gulfport Area Republican volunteer) Jeri Reed (Gulfport Area community activist) Andrew Reder (Gulfport Area student activist) David Hastings (Former Vice Mayor, Gulfport) Andrew Reder (Student president of Stetson Law College Republicans) Christine Brown (Gulfport Area activist ) Gina Burke (Gulfport Area campaign worker) Danie Bothem (Gulfport Area volunteer) Steve Simon (Former Pasco county commissioner) Walter Price (Candidate for property appraiser Pasco) Don Stephenson (Pasco school board candidate) Jack Mariano (Pasco commissioner) Sandy Graves (State committeewoman candidate) Mary Gray Black (Largo city commissioner) Casey Cox (President of Republican Club of Greater Largo) Tony DiMatteo (Pinellas Republican Executive Committee member) Pam Dubov (Pinellas County Property Appraiser) Barbara Stevens (President of Central Pinellas Republican Club) Mike Fasano (Florida State Senator) Bill Phillips (Pasco Republican Activist) Jeff Cannon (Historian and activist in Pasco County) Wil Nickerson (Pasco Republican Activist) Chris Sprowls (Assistant State Attorney) Gus Bilirakis (U.S. representative) Susan Latvala (Pinellas County Commission Chairwoman) Pam McAloon (President of North Pinellas Republican Club) Peter Nehr (State Representative) Bob Gualtieri (Chief Deputy, Pinellas County) Gene Webb (Republican Volunteer) David Jolly (Former aide to Congressman Bill Young, active in Pinellas County Republicans) Alan J. Suskey (Tampa Bay Young Republicans member) Asher King (Sarasota Republican Activist) Joe Gruters (Chair, Republican Party of Sarasota County) Dr. Rich Swier Sr. (Conservative talk show host) Carolyn Mason (Sarasota County Commissioner) Joe Affronti (Temple Terrace Mayor) Temple Drummond (Temple Terrace Community activist) Edward Vance (Temple Terrace City Council Candidate) David Pogorilich (Temple Terrace City Councilman) Frank Chillura (Temple Terrace Mayoral candidate) John Conneely (Delegate to the Presidency 5 Convention) Todd Marks (Lawyer who unsuccessfully ran for Florida House District 57) Greg Chesney (Westchase CDD member) Teresa Trubilla (President of Westchase Artists Society) Peter Condon (Westchase Area Business Association)
Blue Tampa Bay Roster: Martha Bingham (activist), Garry Miracle (activist), Gail Gottlieb (Candidate for State Rep.), Jeannette Figari (activist), Robert Price(president of the South Shore Democratic Club), Chris Mitchell(Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee, chair), Lisa Rodriguez(Community Advocate), Terry Flott(Seffner Community Alliance), Angie Angel(East Hillsborough County Democratic Club, president), Mark Nash(Candidate, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, District 4), Myra Jones(volunteer), Elle Principe(Manatee County activist), Carol Graves(Manatee County activist), Sherry Emigh (Manatee County activist), Ken Kisida (Manatee County activist), Hayley Markman (Manatee Democratic Party Associate Executive Director),Adam Tebrugge(Democratic candidate for State House Dist. 71), ANN FRISBIE (President of the Northdale Civic Association), JAN FOWLER (CABA member), LISA DEMMI (CABA member), ADRIENNE FINN(volunteer), SALLY BALLAS(local business owner), Justin Dick (activist), Cristin Rosenmeyer (activist), Jennifer Agisotelis (activist), Jamie Dunnigan (activist), Teresa Householder (activist), Jan Lowe(activist), Denise Lowe (community activist), Linda Craig(community activist), Lynda Friedman (volunteer), Lynn Lindeman(Pasco County Democrats), Clay Colson(Activist: Board Director and Water Issues Chair, Citizens for Sanity.Com, Inc.), Jim Quinlan (Pasco Democrats membership chair), Calvin Branche (Vice Chairperson Pasco Democrats), Beverly Ledbetter (Secretary of Pasco Democratic Club), Rob Marlowe (New Port Richey Deputy Mayor), Bob Langford(City Councilman), Ginny Miller(Councilwoman), Lia Gallegos (Cultural Affairs Advisory), Jennifer Eichenberger(activist), Geff Strik(activist) Ken Welch(Pinellas County Commissioner), Cyndi Fernandez(local volunteer), Vito Sheeley(volunteer), Sharon Samek(New Tampa Democrats), Rodrick Colbert(USF Democrats), Matt Ortner (President of North Port Demoratic Club), Grace Carlson(political marketing), Rita Ferrandino, (Sarasota Democratic Party Chair), Adam Tebrugge (Democratic State Senate Candidate), Henry Bright(State committeeman for Sarasota Democratic Party), Tim Heberlein (president of the Temple Terrace Democratic Club), Grant Rimbey (City council candidate), Cheri Donohue(Mayoral candidate), Tim Lancaster (president of the Temple Terrace Preservation Society), Jamie Robe(community activist), David Long (business owner, former chamber president, community activist), Jeti Wilds (Former host of Citizens Report for WTMP), Venus Jones (Community Activist), Eric Holt(Westchase Dad’s Club), Anna Scott (Hillsborough County Democratic Women’s Club), Nate Bonilla-Warford(Westchase, Area Business Association Founder)