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Presidential Debate Raises Questions For Students

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 4, 2012

One hundred fifty Sacramento State students filled a lecture hall on campus to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate on a big screen.  

Instructors asked for a show of hands of people who were changing their votes. No hands went up.  But, that doesn't mean the debate was a waste of time. Cristina Velasquez is an Obama supporter, and she certainly heard what Romney had to say, "He did say about creating more jobs and having more people working will keep the economy growing, so I have to agree with him on that  I'm not really sure about him talking about the Medicare system.  I wasn't really sure about that."

Healthcare - and Obama's depiction of Romney's plan- was cause for concern for Romney supporter Kaitlin Sansenbach.  She wonders how it will affect her grandparents, "What he said about that Romney's plan is probably not going to be beneficial towards them kind of made me think and like want to seek out more information on that to see what the politics really is."

Sac State Associate Professor Kimberly Nalder says Obama seemed  smoother, but Romney may have been most effective, "I was tryting to pay attention during the debate, to see what the reaction of the room felt like. And It felt like there was more pro-Obama sentiment in the room. But then when we asked who won, it was relatively evenly split, and a lot more people actually thinking it was a draw in the debate.  So, Maybe you can't tell from the laugh lines what the people are actually reacting to."

A little more than one-third of the students polled said Obama won the debate.  The same amount called it a draw. A little more than a quarter said Romney won outright.  
A phone app developed by UC Davis professors was available for students to give their opinions of the candidates before the debate and then provide instant reaction to what the candidates said.  The app was available to colleges across the country.  The results are expected to be released today
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