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New Canaan Debate Watchers Confident In Candidates

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The first debate between the 2012 presidential nominees left New Canaan supporters of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney feeling good about their preferred candidates.

About 20 supporters attended at each headquarters Wednesday night, and both sides were confident in the stances of their party’s candidates.

Republicans sounded confident about a November victory as they watched from their East Avenue headquarters. Applause was loud as Romney attacked Obama on the economy. Paul Foley, a former town council member, smiled at Romney's performance and said Obama looked flustered and seemed “thin-skinned” at Romney’s words.

“Romney is going to win by eight points,” Foley said. “Romney was totally professional. It was a solid performance.”

Republican Chuck Balestrino was not impressed by what Obama had to say. “What are we talking about here,” Balestrino said. He thought Romney came out with a clear plan of what he wants to do. State House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, said it was as clear a victory for a candidate as he has ever seen.

Town Democrats watching from their party’s headquarters on Main Street said Obama was clear and on message in his defense of the middle class and the benefits of the federal health care law now known as Obamacare.

“I appreciate that he’s trying to help the middle class as much as he can,” said Lorah Haskins of New Canaan. Although she gave Romney credit for his preparation, Haskins remains confident that the country will re-elect Obama. “I have no doubt we will win,” she said.

Sara Shea of Darien said midway through the debate that it was “a little too early” to say which candidate was doing better, though she agreed that Romney appeared prepared. “They’re both very clear,” Shea said. “Nothing is surprising.”

Craig Schanz of Darien was not swayed by Romney’s presentation, saying Obama was more prepared “in every aspect” of the debate.

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