SOMERS, N.Y. People came to Somers from South Salem, North Salem, Yorktown, Bedford and Chappaqua to join local residents at Somerfields to watch the first of the four presidential debates. The evening was sponsored by the Republican Committees of Northern Westchester.
Its going to be a close race, said Luke Vander Linden, vice chair of the Bedford Republican Committee. Itll come down to a few states and a true desire to fix a problem that has two diametrically opposing views. Romney understands the economy as a businessman and he believes that government is not the solution.
The cost of doing business has taken away all my profit, said North Salems Jack Gress. I cant afford to pay health insurance. I was retired and now at 70 I had to go back to work full time.
There are quite a few people in this room who own small businesses, said Serafina Mastro, chair of the Yorktown Republican Committee. Thats the glue to the American way.
Howard Hellwinkel of North Salem is also a small business owner. I dont think itll be a very close race, he said. The polling has been heavily skewed towards the Democrats. As the skewing is removed, itll shift toward Romney.
A close race? said Gress. Youre going to see a Reagan landslide. I hope Romney comes out all guns and lays it into Obama.
Charlie Banks of Chappaqua does think it will be a close race. But Romney needs to be more aggressive, he said. Hes trying to be a nice guy. Hes said that Obama is in over his head, but he hasnt said that Obama is a failure and has to go. Neither one has closed the deal yet. If Obama hasnt done it by now, I dont think he will.
Romney has been holding his aggressiveness to the last quarter of the game, which is now, said Hellwinkel.
Banks is enthusiastic about Romneys running mate, Paul Ryan. So is the events organizer, Luke Vander Linden. Hes part of the Republican intelligencia, he said. Hes able to articulate when hes being attacked.
The next Republican Committee's debate party will be take place when the vice presidential candidates, Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan, go at it on Thursday, Oct. 11. The party will be at the Horse & Hound, 94 Spring St., South Salem. The debate starts at 9 p.m. The party starts shortly before that. There will be a cash bar and snacks.