MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - On Sunday night before the Democratic presidential debate , the crowd waiting to get into the Sullivan Arena was huge.
Audience members invited to attend the event were practically stampeding the CNN staff and volunteers to get wristbands and go through security.
It was a completely different atmosphere at the door on Tuesday. There were only a few dozen Republican debate attendees waiting before doors were unlocked. The hundreds of participants, nearly all registered New Hampshire voters, arrived at a leisurely pace, packing the house in a calm and controlled manner.
Is this a reflection of what we're seeing at the polls? That Democrats are energized about this election, while Republicans are still waiting for something to be really excited about?
– CNN Associate Producer Stephen Bach
I certainly hope so.
I think there are a couple of reasons for the different atmosphere at the Republican debate. First, the debate is on a New Hampshire college campus, traditionally an environment with high numbers of democrats. Secondly, the Democratic Party has the Obama factor. Senator Obama draws a spirited crowd everywhere he goes.
And the third, and possibly the strongest, reason is the fundamental view of this election in the eyes of Democrats and Republicans. Republicans, who control the White House, see the election as a fight to retain the White House. On the other hand, Democrats view the election as an opportunity to take the White House. Democrats have momentum going into the election with the past Congressional elections. Thus, one party has momentum and everything to win, while the other has everything to lose.
Also notice how many people applaud after every answer that Gov. Romney, Sen. McCain and the other candidates with the highest poll numbers give. I believe that this shows that there are plenty of people in the audience with their minds made up and are entrenched in their presidential vote.
Is it possible that Republicans are just pre-disposed to genteel behavior and realize that good things come to those who wait?
Im confused about this debate....what did they really debate? i heard a couple of points on how to end the war some foriegn policy views and a little on bringing the country together. However it was more about "the democrates this" and "we republicans that" im tired of this us vs them mentality its not what "GOD" wants for his people. Republicans and Democrats talk a good game about "GOD" and the only candidate i see is trully for uniting us americans is obama. Stop tooting your horn on how "Republican" you are and how "American" you look. Talk about uniting this country talk about ending crime and reforming education so we dont fall further behind China and other countries who makes our kids look....well "dumb" I do however like Ron Paul's foriegn policy views war is not the answer and if we stop flexing our muscles like the world bully bush made us out to be. I think problems around the world will decrease and we may get more allies in helping us find the real problem and thats Osama Bin Laden. He's tearing this country apart and the bush adminstration will have let him get away with murder. my heart still goes out to every american lost during 9/11 and to ever soldier who was forced to war based on faulty information i commend you and hope we come to an end to this unecessary war.
I wouldn't worry about that if I were you. Once Hillary is the nominee, AND SHE WILL BE, you just watch the Republicans flock to whoever their nominee is and watch the independents too. Can't wait.
One simple answer: More adults in the GOP. We have candidates, not cult figures...unless you count Ron Paul.
Hard to believe someone who says they are politically conservative would find Ron Paul a "cult figure." He is the only true conservative in the field. And, wonder of wonders, he would appeal to many Democrats who would prefer to vote for someone with a more conservative fiscal plan. Which comprises many Democrats and Independents who find Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama less appealing than polls might suggest.