10/16/2012 03:51 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2012

Gov. Romney Bests President Obama, According to GSPM Horse Race

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) released the 11th installment of its weekly Horse Race poll, which found that Gov. Romney's campaign bested President Obama's campaign for the second week.

Forty-nine percent of respondents believe Joe Biden won last week's vice presidential debate, compared to Paul Ryan's 27 percent. Twenty percent believe neither candidate won the debate.

Full survey results for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 14, are as follows:

Rate the prior week's performance (1- Very Ineffective, 5 - Very Effective)
Mitt Romney's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate 3.68
Barack Obama's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate 2.86
Mitt Romney's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 3.77
Barack Obama's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 3.05

Which presidential campaign "won" the previous week?
Romney Campaign 54 percent
Obama Campaign 23 percent
Neither 20 percent
Both 02 percent
Don't know 00 percent

What was the pivotal moment of the campaign in the previous week?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: "The pivotal moment of the week was the Obama campaign finding its voice through the Vice Presidential debate. Biden's indictment of GOP orthodoxy is sure to continue through Election Day and will prove vital in motivating base supporters."

Republican Insider: "The Vice Presidential debate was the highlight of this past week, with Biden covering some of the bases that Obama missed in his own debate, and Paul Ryan showing that he is knowledgeable and intelligent on a number of issues."

Democrat Insider: "While the VP debate showed the Obama campaign still has passion, it still wasn't enough to stop the Romney surge."

Republican Insider: "The debate was a nice diversion, but it won't matter much. The most pivotal moment of the week is that the media doesn't appear to be letting go of the Benghazi issue, and in fact appears to be digging in deeper. This won't end well for the president, especially if HE thinks the big issue is making Big Bird move out of the nest."

Independent Insider: "A number of credible polls came out that had Romney either closing the gap or ahead. The momentum is clearly finally in Romney's favor and possibly at exactly the right time."

Did you think there was a pivotal moment in the vice-presidential debate? If so, what was it?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: "Start to finish, Biden was strong and Ryan looked like a deer in the headlights several times."

Republican Insider: "There was no one single moment where a turning point could be marked, but the vice president's overall behavior and demeanor was beneath the dignity of his office and a true low for American democracy."

Democrat Insider: "I thought Biden laying out Romney's statements about the 47 percent, the auto bailout and foreclosures was very effective. Also, his explanation that Afghan soldiers should be and are stepping in for American soldiers, thereby reducing the risks to our soldiers, was effective...and completely lost on Ryan."

Republican Insider: "Ryan's answers prompted more questions about the Republican ticket's stance on abortion and the war in Afghanistan."

Independent Insider: "Biden was very disrespectful with the constant laughter and interruptions. Ryan also definitely had to the leg up on the Benghazi statements."

What advice would you give either President Obama or Governor Romney as they prepare for the second debate (please indicate either OBAMA or ROMNEY at the beginning of your answer)?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: OBAMA -- "Obama needs to fight in the next debate. He doesn't need to go as far as Biden did when it comes to theatrics, but he has to tell people the good he did the last four years and that he still wants the job."

Republican Insider: ROMNEY -- "Beware higher expectations. There's no way you'll sneak up on Obama again. Just be safe, competent and informed."

Democrat Insider: OBAMA -- "Take some cues from your VP. America is tuning in to see you argue with passion, not just recite talking points as if you're giving a standard television interview."

Republican Insider: OBAMA -- "It's time to stop making your platform 'don't vote for Mitt' and start campaigning against yourself, so to speak. Sell us on why the next four years are going to be different, then your first term."

Independent Insider: ROMNEY -- "Romney needs to be prepared for the town hall format, and Obama's ability to relate and be more personable with a crowd. Romney has to be warm, yet sincere, and be able to answer questions without seeming to give evasive answers."

What advice would you give either of the presidential campaign's based on the performance of last week (please indicate either OBAMA or ROMNEY at the beginning of your answer)?

Select Comments

Democrat Insider: OBAMA -- "You need to go after Romney in the debate. You let too many lies and assertions go unchallenged. Like Biden, you need to point to Romney/Ryan's actions, and call them on their contradictions."

Republican Insider: ROMNEY -- "Stay on offense, keep hitting Obama on his record, talk about the future and what a Romney-Ryan ticket will produce for Americans."

Independent Insider: ROMNEY -- "Romney needs to continue on the path he is on. The momentum is in the right direction and Ryan did exactly what he was supposed to, which is not disrupt the momentum and appeal to independents".

The GSPM Horse Race is an aggregated, weekly measure of the opinions of graduate students, alumni, full-time faculty and adjunct professors at GSPM. The results are not intended to be representative of any larger population. The responses have been weighted to ensure that they are balanced politically, by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The comments provided are from survey participants. The survey results are released weekly and are available