What the voters say: Our panel reacts to last night's final presidential debate

 

Jake Duhaime, 28. Publicity and Special Projects manager, votes in Massachusetts

2008 – did not vote

2012 – plans to vote Romney

As someone who used to call Detroit home, it has been hysterical seeing both candidates discuss the auto industry, especially when they talk about jobs being shipped overseas. The thing I really marvel at, though is that Mitt Romney has not once, not ONCE, mentioned that earlier this year, government-owned Chevrolet pledged to spend $559 million to put its name on Manchester United's kit. That's 1,400 middle class jobs right there.
 

Michael Rasmussen, 55, Cybercrime Prevention Specialist, votes in Oregon
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Obama's night. Romney spent most of it agreeing with Obama's policies, and was called out for his shifting stands. Obama's gentlest, and perhaps best, reprimand was to mention Romney's disastrous overseas trip in August, while reminding us of how he comported himself while a candidate in 2008.  In the closing moments Romney just repeated talking points about the economy - without a tie to foreign policy.  He clearly knew he wasn't winning by discussing the subject matter at hand.

Katie McKernan, 40, Stay at home mom, votes in Virginia.

2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

You know who lost tonight? Ambien. Because nary a US citizen needed a sleep aid after that debate. The only people who watched the entire debate were political junkies, or people who have already made up their minds, myself included.  For those who persevered, the President's assertion in his closing remarks that he will "always listen to your voices" rings terribly false. I still remember Mr. Obama calling me, and fellow Americans who objected to his policies "teabaggers." And claims that he stands by Israel? I'd like Netanyahu's opinion on that one.  

José Hernández-Lagunes, 36. University employee, votes in Illinois.
2008 – did not vote
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Romney has no grasp of foreign policy, and an even worse knowledge of geography. He asserted that Syria is Iran's route to the sea. This just blew my mind. The president was insightful, funny, eloquent and poignant. Game, set, match, right? Well, I really doubt he's cinched this. I really, truly believe there are enough idiots in this country to elect Romney. Thankfully, I have dual citizenship. I can flee the sinking boat if this jackhole wins.

Diane Bergin, 44, Housewife. Votes in Florida.
2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – undecied

President Obama clearly doesn't prioritize national defense. He mocked Governor Romney on the military and that alone was a major drawback for me. We have these forces called “Special Operations” and they use whatever is necessary to get the job done, so the “bayonets and horses” comment was reckless. Although they both did well on the debate, I felt Romney had a more positive vision for the future.

Sandra Gross, 45. Copy editor, votes in Michigan.

2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Romney lives in a 1950s white American male bubble. With his stumbling speech and apparent ignorance about Islam, it’s clear he doesn’t understand our diverse, modern world.  He stated that the U.S. has the strongest military in the world in one breath, and that we need to cut tax deductions that are crucial to the U.S. middle class in order to strengthen our military in another breath. President Obama gave us detailed plans, while Romney just gave us slogans.  It would be a disaster for the U.S. and the world if we elect Mitt Romney.

Chris Sasso, 24. Business owner and entrepreneur, votes in New York.
2008 – Voted McCain.
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

Since I started my business in 2007, I’ve seem competition from China increase exponentially. The amount of counterfeit products and manufacturing jobs switching from here at home to abroad is alarming. This is a greater problem than the President is willing to admit, and he has shown that over the last 4 years that it’s a problem he does not want to fix. Gov Romney's promise to label them a currency manipulator is a starting point that will drastically reverse this course.

Anna Schwiessinger, 31. Client Services Coordinator, votes in California.
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

The exchange that ended with the Obama telling Romney that “we have fewer horses and bayonets" than during the Second World War, and telling him that military funding is “not a game of Battleship" is genius. I’m also glad that the President reminded Romney that he was invested in Chinese oil companies that did business with Iran.

Andy Sorensen, 23. University Student, votes in Minnesota.
2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

I may be an Obama opponent, but he did get us out of Iraq which he did promise, and takes credit for killing for Bin Laden. However, outside of that, the Obama foreign policy I feel has been a complete disaster. More often than not, he’s sat on the sidelines and, most recently in the case of the Libyan embassy bombing, proven that he isn’t capable of making big decisions. Romney showed that up tonight.

Brian Slack, 28. Business Consultant, votes in PA.
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Foreign policy is Mitt Romney's biggest perceived weakness, which is probably why we didn't hear any actual new ideas tonight.  Instead, he basically said: “The President was right... but I would have done it sooner.” Speaking of Obama, he was mad tonight, and frankly I'm happy he snapped a bit.  This was the culmination of a lot of lies, and frankly I'd be disappointed if he didn't get riled.

Molly McCallum, 41, PhD Student and Consultant.
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

I did not feel like Romney was proposing much different from what Bush and, now, Obama is doing in many situations. But he sometimes drove a harder line, and it is much easier for a candidate to propose such harsh measures, like bombing a country, than for a sitting President to make the idle or hypothetical threats. I will continue to support Obama because I don’t believe Romney is equipped to handle a significant foreign policy challenge, and his social policies are unacceptable.

Ruben D. Sanchez, Jr., 40. Soldier in US Army National Guard/Flight Attendant, votes in Illinois.
2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

Obama's weakness in foreign policy became apparent in tonight's final debate. I do have to admit that Romney didn't take to president to task as aggressively for his foreign policy disasters as I would have liked. But Obama looked desperate tonight. At the same time, Gov. Romney just came off as a nice "peaceful" guy who can, nonetheless, can be President and Commander In Chief of the United States Armed Forces.
 
Olivia Fahey, 19. Student, Wisconsin.
2008 - did not vote
2012 – plans to vote Obama

I found it interesting that Romney says he’s so keen on bringing gender equality to the Middle East, especially considering how blatantly anti-woman his platform is. Romney's answers seemed somewhat weak, and lacking in substance, while I felt that the President was poised, well informed and firing on all cylinders.

Sam Miller, 33. Attorney, votes in Massachusetts
2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

The debate topics are outside of the knowledge of average voter, and both Romney and Obama recognized this by tying the answers to their campaign stump slogans. The two issues on which they differed were Israel and China. Obama stated he would "stand with" Israel if it were attacked, while Romney really made clear that he would defend Israel. On China, Romney used his strength on economic policy to highlight the differences between himself and Obama. Aside from these areas, it was very lacklustre.

Julie Saxenmeyer, 37. Development specialist for a public library system, votes in Maryland.
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama
 
I'm sure Romney supporters will disagree, but I thought Obama was the clear, decisive winner tonight. He has four years of experience in this job, and it showed. Governor Romney knew his talking points, but beyond that, he was clearly out of his league. He thinks that Syria is Iran's path to the sea. Has he looked at a map? Embarrassing. We need to have a leader who understands not only geography, but diplomacy. President Obama is the only man for the job.

Brian Clutter, 30. IT Support Specialist, votes in Ohio.
2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

My biggest take-away was Romney's obvious effort to differentiate himself from the cavalier Bush administration and how it handled foreign policy.  It's refreshing to see the Republican Party pushing a platform of peace.  Otherwise I thought the debate was a tie: President Obama looked Presidential (as he should) and Governor Romney did as well.

Toby Hatchett, 61. Freelance journalist, votes in New Hampshire.        
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Words almost fail me. How anyone with a modicum of sense and rationality could possibly follow Romney's non-arguments, let alone agree with him, is beyond me. I must be naive in hoping my fellow country people are thinkers.

Clayton Bink, 52. Maintenance worker, votes in New York State.

2008 – Voted McCain
2012 – Plans to vote Romney

Tonights' debate made it obvious that Mitt Romney is completely capable of being POTUS. President Obamas' foreign policy has done nothing to make America safer, quite the opposite. Iran is four years closer to having a nuclear bomb,  Al-Qa’ida is gaining strength, and we have had four Americans killed in Libya. The USA needs a President that will stand up to foreign bullies and not coddle them.

Kathy Tobiassen, 54. Home-maker, votes in New York
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

here really didn't seem to be much difference between Obama and Romney in terms of policy. Often Mitt’s stance was: "I agree with what Pres. Obama did, but I would have done it sooner or more severely".  It made him seem ineffectual and Obama more presidential because he actually understood the complexities of implementing policies.  

Jamie Klingler, 34, Publishing Manager. Votes in Pennsylvania
2008 – voted Obama
2012 – plans to vote Obama

Romney’s claim that Syria is Iran’s route to sea is a bigger gaffe than Sarah Palin claiming she could see Russia from her house four years ago.  The Republican Party needs a crash course in geography before entering into foreign policy.  Romney managed to offend the entire UK, on his only trip there. Can you imagine what damage he could do on a world stage?  I’ve already sent in my vote and hope that this debate continued to push voters towards Obama.

Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth gamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game