Biden's Debate Performance Energizes NH Dems
Patch polled influential New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats to find out who they felt won the debate.
Joe Biden's performance in Thursday night's debate appears to have energized New Hampshire Democrats, according to a flash poll conducted overnight.
"Every answer by Biden was close to a standout," said one Democrat. "He had a pulse, he had a spine, he had a number, he had a story to support the number and he had gravitas."
Patch tapped our panels of influential New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats in two polls conducted immediately after the vice presidential debate between Biden and Paul Ryan ended.
Patch received responses from 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. The poll is not scientific.
Every one of the Democratic respondents said they felt Biden won the debate. Seventy-five percent said they felt Biden won by a wide margin, while 25 percent said they felt he won by a slim margin.
Of the GOP respondents, 36 percent said Ryan won "by a wide margin," and another 36 percent said he won by "a slim margin." Twenty-three percent were neutral or had no opinion, while 5 percent felt Biden won by "a slim margin."
"Ryan was not as strong as expected," said one Republican influential.
Republican respondents said they felt the national media would say that Biden was the consensus winner, with 60 percent agreeing with that statement by a wide or slim margin. By comparison, only 23 percent felt Ryan would be declared as the winner by the national media. Democrats also said the national media would declare Biden the winner, with 81 percent agreeing by a wide or slim margin.
Most Democratic respondents felt Biden did a lot to improve the Obama/Biden ticket's chances of winning the Granite State, with 81 percent saying they strongly or somewhat agreed that Biden's performance made it more likely the Democrats will win on Nov. 6.
Meanwhile, only 55 percent of Republican respondents agreed that Ryan's debate performance makes it more likely that the Romney/Ryan ticket will win New Hampshire.
Asked what moment will stand out most in the minds of conservative and swing voters in New Hampshire, most Republicans cited Biden's debate demeanor.
They mentioned Biden's laughing, his smirks, and his "constant interruptions" whenever Ryan was answering questions.
"Joe Biden was disgraceful in his debate performance," said one Republican. "It wasn't a Sunday talk show, it was a Vice Presidential Debate. He had a complete lack of respect for his opponent and it made him look very angry."
"Biden's interruptions and laughter were very unpresidential in many regards," added another.
But Democrats praised Biden for the very same actions derided by Republicans, saying he remained aggressive and responded to Ryan's assertions.
"If Biden was highly animated, then Ryan was wooden and over rehearsed, providing clearly memorized answers," said one Democrat.
"Ryan was supposed to be wonky, intelligent, confident, and a great debater," said another. "We didn't see that tonight. He looked inexperienced, sometimes flustered, and unable to push back at Biden."
The Red and Blue Granite surveys
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 and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in New Hampshire. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Granite and Blue Granite surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Marc Fortier at email@example.com.