Biden-Ryan Vice Presidential Debate: Local GOP & Democrats React

Vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan squared off in debate last night, a week after presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had their first debate. Here's how Massachusetts Republicans and Democrats think their candidat

Massachusetts Democrats were more enthusiastic about Joe Biden's vice presidential debate performance than Bay State Republicans were about Paul Ryan's performance: that's the major finding of the Red and Blue Commonwealth flash polls sent out to local politicos immediately after the debate ended Thursday night.

Biden and Ryan faced off on Thursday, Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, with ABC News' Martha Raddatz moderating the debate that covered both domestic and foreign policy.

Of the 14 local influential Democrats who took the survey, 12 of them (85.7 percent) voted that Biden won by a large margin, with one voting that the current vice president won by a slim margin and one voting "neutral."

Meanwhile, of the 25 local influential Republicans who took the survey, seven of them (28 percent) voted that Ryan won by a large margin, with 13 (52 percent) voting that the congressman won by a slim margin. Five Republicans voted "neutral."

That's a switch from the presidential debate on Oct. 3, when in similar flash polls by Patch, local Democrats were less enthusiastic about President Barack Obama's performance and local Republicans were more enthusiastic about Gov. Mitt Romney's performance.

Asked who would be the consensus "winner" as declared by the national media, Democrats were unanimous in voting that Biden would be declared the winner, with 10 voting it'd be by a wide margin and four voting it'd be by a slim margin.

Republicans were almost evenly divided on who the national media would declare the consensus winner: seven voted it'd be Ryan by a slim margin, seven voted it'd be Biden by slim margin, seven voted "neutral" and four voted it'd be Biden by a wide margin.

What Moment Stood Out? 

Asked for a moment that will stand out in the minds of conservatives in Massachusetts, many of the local Republicans who took the flash poll took issue with Biden's demeanor and behavior during the debate, during which the vice president laughed and smiled during some of Ryan's answers. Several characterized his behavior as "disrespectful" and "rude."

"Biden was incredibly rude and condescending throughout the debate," wrote one Republican respondent. "His demeanor—the smirking and eye rolling—was offensive."

Others focused on Ryan's behavior in contrast to Biden's, which Republicans characterized as "cool and collected," "composure" and "honest, sincere."

Democratic respondents focused on the debate's exchanges on the economy and taxes when asked for a moment that will stand out in the minds of liberals and progressives in Massachusetts. Some chose Biden raising Romney's "47 percent" comment caught on tape, while others focused on Biden's exchange over the economy and taxes, saying "still no specifics" and "the R's math does not add up." 

Two people chose Biden's line, "Now you're Jack Kennedy?" in response to Ryan mentioning tax cuts passed under John F. Kennedy.

A few Democratic respondents expressed concern that Biden's "laughter" and "arrogance" would stand out in the mind of Massachusetts' swing voters, but others characterized the vice president's demeanor as aggressive: "Joe Biden calling out Paul Ryan's malarkey" and "Joe putting Ryan on the defensive" were two respondent's comments.

Other Democrats focused on economic issues, from the "47 percent" comment to Romney and Ryan's tax plan.

Most Republican respondents stuck with Biden's "boorish and bizarre" behavior, as one respondent put it, when asked what moment would stand out for Bay State swing voters.

"Paul Ryan's comments on Romney's bipartisianship," one Republican respondent wrote. "Also, no matter who you were, Biden's smirking was something you couldn't ignore. I don't think anybody liked it."

Two Republicans also focused on Ryan's statements regarding Social Security and Medicare.

Democrats Bullish on Biden's Effect on Mass. Votes, Republicans Lukewarm on Ryan's Effect 

Most of the local Democrats surveyed said Biden's performance would increase the number of votes Obama gets in Massachusetts, with nine strongly agreeing it would increase Obama's Bay State votes and four somewhat agreeing. One somewhat disagreed Biden helped bolster Obama's Massachusetts vote totals.

Republicans were somewhat split when asked if Ryan's performance would increase the number of votes Romney gets in Massachusetts. Two strongly agreed it would and 11 somewhat agreed, while eight were neutral, three somewhat disagreed and one strongly disagreed. 

In closing opinions, Democrats gave favorable reviews to Biden's performance, saying he spoke with "passion and caring," that he "trounced" Ryan and that he "referred more to fact than did Ryan." They also gave favorable reviews to the debate as whole, calling it "thoughtful," "heavy on policy and specifics" and lauding Raddatz's performance as moderator.

"Biden owned this debate. Paul Ryan came across as evasive, dogmatic and amateurish," one Democratic respondent wrote.

Some Republicans weren't as happy with Raddatz's job as moderator, saying she "allowed so much interruptions by Biden" and that her "raising abortion issue appeared to be a 'set-up.'"

Others praised Ryan, saying he did a "great job of sticking to the issues that matter the most," that he "gave a sincere, factual debate" and was "very gentleman-like and much better spoken than I anticipated."

One Republican respondent said that Biden "probably succeeded" in bolstering the Democratic base.

"But Biden’s statements will not survive a thorough fact check," the respondent continued. "Ryan was polite, he made his points despite being interrupted, he said the things he needed to say to continue making the case that the Obama administration is a failure. Ryan was a bit too deferential, nevertheless he held his own and succeeded preventing the tide which is definitely moving in the Romney/Ryan direction."

Who do you think won the debate? Tell us in the comments below.

Red and Blue Commonwealth Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Republican activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Massachusetts. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Massachusetts' Patch's surveys, although not all responded to this story's questions.

Patch will be conducting Red Commonwealth and Blue Commonwealth surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Massachusetts. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, please contact Associate Regional Editor Daniel DeMaina at danield@patch.com.

x October 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Your handle says it all... who would proudly be paired with Deval Patrick? Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
fitzroy October 15, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Ed Schultz is the worst...Ed is to liberals as Anne Coulter is to conservatives...barf!
rvd October 16, 2012 at 01:26 AM
So, republicans, if Ryan is soooo much better than Biden and it is clear to you he won, why are you abusing CAPS lock on this forum?
Earnhardt October 16, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Biden could have easily won. All the years of experience (40+) should have buried Ryan, But he chose to act like a school kid and guffaw and make stupid faces and comments that were great to tweet, Therefore Ryan won because Biden looked foolish. The President is doing the same thing, Using Big Bird. I mean if you can't run an ad touting your accomplishments, then using Big Bird is a last act of desperation.
Walt Cassell October 16, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Well said Earnhardt! Big Bird won't win voters unless they allow 5 year olds the right to vote. Hey buddy, coffee sat morning? you got my email, let me know. ( we can discuss senior)
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Edward Kein`s book SAY`S IT BEST about OBAMA. THE AMATUER. ROMNEY IS A PROFESSIONAL, That`s what you want running the COUNTRY !!!!!!
Earnhardt October 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Obama was an amateur who was in over his head from day one. You are so right, we need a professional. Mitt is that professional.
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 01:40 PM
CHAMELEON haha OBAMA changes his SPEECH influction depending on who he is talking to, in a black crowd he starts jiving, WITH WHITE LIBERALS HE PUTS ON HIS phony Harvard crap. OBAMA is a man with out any grounding, LET`S SEE BORN IN HAWAII maybe, LIVED IN INDONESSIA,spent time in PAKISTAN and KENYA, then he became CHICAGOIAN, this guy is all over the place HELL HE DOESN`T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS. IS HE OBAMA or BARRY SOETORO, who knows. THE REAL STORY ON THIS PHONY WILL COME OUT ONCE HE leaves office.
Earnhardt October 16, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Hillary suddenly steps up a few weeks after the embassy disaster and admits she is responsible. I wonder what the administration is holding over her head? Why didn't she step up right away? Her boss is responsible, ultimately he was the one who has the power to authorize troop protection. Another dropped ball Obama. Who will be the next scapegoat?
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 01:51 PM
SO TRUE Hillary went on to apologize for a VIDEO that never WAS. Talk about spoon feeding the masses a load of bull, THAT`S WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING FOR 4 YEARS.
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Funny how LIBERALS get there undies in a knot over CAPS, HA HA Just shows you how in love with REGULATION`S they are. They march in lock step like a bunch of NORTH KOREAN soldeirs..............
x October 16, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Howard, it ain't just liberals. Anyone who paid attention to their English teacher knows CAP LOCKS should be used with discretion. Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 03:57 PM
English teacher. Well when I was in school my friend, there were no such things as cap locks, NO COMPUTERS. Long before the the 1990`s. AT least it is affective it gets your ATTENTION, live with it. I live with a lot things in this world im not wild about, starting with the guy in the WHITE HOUSE.
Steven Iverson October 16, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Howard, you're a great guy, but many of the comments you've left here could create a mistaken impression that you're a troll and that you enjoy acting like a jerk. Please consider changing how you post so that people don't go away thinking you're really like that. You deserve better.
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Well im who I am. I GUESS I will use when on the new catch phrase`s of the day, WE will agree to disagree. IT`S content im concerned with not packaging, you see that`s how OBAMA fooled everyone in the first place it`s all packaging. Everything in life is not always as it seems, smoke and mirrors.
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I am starting to notice one thing, that may very telling the way things are going. The Libs are getting very testy, I think they sense something that`s about to happen on Nov 6 th is not what they expected.
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Now let`s not take an elitist attitude boys.I haven`t said anything about you guy`s your free to write anyway you choose, it`s fine by me. IM not forcing my way on you, don`t force yours on me.You resort to name calling, that say`s it all.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ October 16, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Honest question: If you're a conservative living here as a resident of Massachusetts, why would you even bother voting for Mitt Romney? Your vote really does not matter as Obama will win the state regardless.
Mark Howell October 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Regardless of whom you're voting for, it is always important to participate. Vote for the candidates who best represent your values, whether or not you feel they are going to be winners in this election. Your vote will not always be THE deciding vote, but it is your responsibility to vote anyway.
M C Stringfellow October 16, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Thank you, Mark. That is how I feel. If you do not vote, do not complain about the outcome.
x October 16, 2012 at 08:14 PM
The Earth hesitates in its orbit, pausing its annual rotation around the Sun. Time stands still as The Annointed One, The One We Have Been Waiting For, The Modern Messiah prepares to debate a mere pretender to the throne. A tentative world awaits the revealed wisdom from The Dominant Democrat... in town hall format. Your spirtual advisor, Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Howard Kosrofian October 16, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Well if the town hall format is stocked with College kids from Hofstra, who will be wondering about free tuition, free condems, etc it`s great to get these things on someone else`s DIME, they have just the right guy there in OBAMA TO PANDER TO THEM. Obama is really having a blast with HILLARY, he throws her under the bus on LYBIA, the whole party threw under the bus 4 years ago. I don`t think BILL ever NIALED her that good.
x October 16, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Sonny, Well okay, one revolution daily and one revolution annually. Perhaps you never signed on to Copernicus's findings. Elitists of the Middle Ages did not subscribe either. Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Rose J October 16, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Howard, do you think you could stop your ranting nonsense for the two seconds it would take to grammar- and spell-check yourself? Whatever bizarre message you are trying to spread was lost long ago among all the NEEDLESS CAPITAL LETTERS, misplaced apostrophes (not EVERY word ending in "s" requires one, you know, especially not when you are simply making a word plural), and misspellings.
MoonBeamWatcher October 16, 2012 at 09:18 PM
TRU . . . beeeeeeep, WRONG! One could have lept to your illogical conclusion when Martha went to claim "TEDS Seat!" Even the GOP failed to support Brown in a meaningful way and since have abandoned him to his own devices. Remember how they treated him at the GOP Convention? We, Mr. and Mrs. Six-Pack sent Scott Brown to DC to deliver a message to Beacon Hill and BOTH SIDES of the aisle in DC. Our elected leakers took NOTE, witness the following Obama State of the Union Address when our 9% favorable rated Congress and Senate had DATE NIGHT. UnEnrolled RULE! OMG! = Obama Must Go!
MoonBeamWatcher October 16, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Can't reply to Rose J, Sooooo, guess cart is before the horse! Yes, BO must have something on Hillary! The TRUTH is that the BUCK stops at OBAMAS desk! Just as AG Holder should have offered his resignation because of "Fast and Furious", so to should Hillary! If it was not forthcoming BHO (the man who appointed them to REPRESENT HIM) should have DEMANDED they RESIGN or fired them! Credit taken for Bin ladin, followed by OUTING the MD who told the CIA and FBI where his RAT HOLE WAS, puts the fear of G-d in anyone who might come forward and provide aid to the WESTERN civilization! OMG! = Obama Must Go! PS/ Rose J, "Thanks Teach" when your without reasonable response in a reply, the attack on spelling is Standard Operating Procedure!
Rob October 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Howard Kosrofian October 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Obama beat`s his chest yesterday at the debate HILLARY works for me !! After she took a bullett for him, put that way she must have loved that.Bill craped all over her, now Obama.
Howard Kosrofian October 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Thanks Moon Beam, your right Rose thinks we are in english class. She doesn`t address the content about the liar and chief, concerned about the spelling. I get the feeling she get`s paid from our taxes somewhere don`t you ?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ October 18, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Ron Paul


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