“Martha ruled with an iron hand from the beginning, even as the heavyweight Biden bullied the middleweight Ryan around the ring.”
“I expect Romney will say Lehrer—he did not interrupt him like he did his female moderators.”
“Lehrer was too understated, and Crowley injected herself too frequently in the town-hall debate. Raddatz was well versed, balanced, and kept the discussions on topic.”
“Did her homework and made herself (and thus the viewer) part of the mix.”
“Martha by a mile! Lehrer got rolled, and Candy’s tone was too awkward and apologetic in trying to steer the candidates. Martha got it right.”
“If this were Nevada, I would choose none of the above.”
“Women should moderate all the debates. Better command of the issues.”
“You know she did well because the R’s are complaining about her. Raddatz was also good—Lehrer was awful.”
“Asked the most direct follow-ups and played referee when necessary.”
“Raddatz and Crowley both did a superb job. The nod for best goes to Crowley because it turns out she was in a combat zone.”
“She did the best job of managing the interruptions. Was good at staring down Romney when he was overly aggressive and approaching her. Wonder what Jane Goodall would say about his behavior.”
“Candy by a line. Her interjection of fact into the debate over the Benghazi incident saved her.”
“Put debates on the list along with conventions for needed reforms for 2016.
“Real-time fact checking—bold and long overdue move.”
Who has been the best moderator so far in the debates?
REPUBLICANS (95 VOTES)
Jim Lehrer: 70%
Martha Raddatz: 24%
Candy Crowley: 6%
“He understood that he was not the show. The last two have felt as though they were journalists performing for their fellow journalists. Voters are smart enough to figure things out for themselves.”
“Crowley injected herself too much in the debate—all to Obama’s benefit.”
“Is there a ‘none-of-the-above’ option, because none of these folks are doing anything to dispel the concern that the media is no longer impartial.”
“We know it’s not Candy, who left the moderating role behind and joined as a participant.”
“Raddatz and Crowley are typical of too many journalists. They believe they are essential to the story when, in fact, they are impediments to the story.”
“Let ’em talk, for crying out loud. One of the debaters is going to be president; none of the moderators will be.”
“At least Lehrer wasn’t in the bag for the Democrats.”
“Are these the best moderators the press corps can produce? Really?”
“The unscripted debate gave voters a true look into the mental capacities of both candidates.”
“Candy Crowley could not have been more biased. No hard questions for Obama, let him keep talking through—just a totally slanted set up!”
“Raddatz kept candidates on track without debating one of them. Shame on Candy Crowley; she should have let Obama defend himself instead of interjecting—plus the situation appears to be not as clear as she asserted.”
“Crowley was the worst moderator in history of presidential debates.”
“Millions of conservatives just lumped CNN in with MSNBC for Crowley’s unfair and misleading ‘fact check.’ ”
“[Picking Raddatz] is like saying New Moon was the best Twilight movie.”
Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.
GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.
This article originally appeared in print as "Political Insiders Poll."
This article appears in the Oct. 20, 2012, edition of National Journal.