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Debate Watch Parties in Springfield

Democrats and Republicans in Greene County gathered at watch parties last night to cheer on their party's presidential candidate during the first presidential debate. KSMU had reporters at each watch party. We begin with a report from Justin Pointer who spent the evening with the Republicans at their Springfield headquarters.

ALMOST 50 GREENE COUNTY REPUBLICANS MET AT THEIR HEADQUARTERS TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT BUSH.

THEIR ANTICIPATION SOON TURNED TO EXCITEMENT, AS THE PRESIDENT DELIVERED SOME KEY REMARKS.

AFTER THE DEBATE, GREENE COUNTY COORDINATOR FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BILL OWEN DISCUSSED WHETHER OR NOT THIS DEBATE WAS A VICTORY FOR PRESIDENT BUSH.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE MARK WRIGHT WAS ALSO AT THE WATCH PARTY.

HE SAYS HE BELIEVES THAT THE PRESIDENT DID WHAT HE NEEDED TO DO DURING THE DEBATE.

AS FOR PRESIDENT BUSH'S DEMOCRATIC OPPONENT, SENATOR JOHN KERRY, THE GREENE COUNTY REPUBLICANS SAID THEY WEREN'T IMPRESSED.

SEVERAL DESCRIBED KERRY AS BEING ON THE OFFENSIVE, TRYING TO ATTACK THE PRESIDENT AND HIS DECISION-MAKING.

MARK WRIGHT COMPARES THIS DEBATE TO A PRIZE FIGHT, WITH THE TWO BATTLING TO DELIVER THE DECISIVE BLOW.

THE GREENE-COUNTY REPUBLICANS BELIEVE POLLS OF MISSOURI VOTERS SHOW THE PRESIDENT HAS A SUBSTANTIAL LEAD AND THEY SAY THAT THIS DEBATE WILL PROBABLY NOT HAVE TOO MUCH OF AN EFFECT ON THAT LEAD.

WE GO NOW TO K-S-M-U'S KATIE HUMMEL WHO SPENT THE EVENING WITH GREENE COUNTY DEMOCRATS.

AT VARIOUS TIMES DURING THE 90 MINUTE DEBATE, THE CROWD OF NEARLY 75 DEMOCRATS CHEERED AND APPLAUDED AS THEY WATCHED AT THE TEAMSTERS HALL IN SPRINGFIELD.

SO WHEN THE DEBATE CONLCUDED, LOCAL DEMOCRATS GAVE THEIR ANALYSIS.

SOME, LIKE LABORMAN BRAD TODD, WERE SURPRISED AT HOW WELL KERRY DID.

AND OTHERS, LIKE DEMOCRATIC VOLUNTEER LINDA TRIPPE, ADMIRED THE WAY KERRY HANDLED THE DEBATE'

BUT IT WASN'T THE ONLY PERSON WHO GOT SPRINGFIELD DEMOCRATS EXCITED LAST NIGHT.

HE HAD TO SHARE THE SPOTLIGHT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

SINGER-SONGWRITER CAROLE KING SPENT THE EVENING CHATTING AND WATCHING THE DEBATE WITH FELLOW KERRY SUPPORTERS.

KING EXPLAINS WHY SHE WAS IN SPRINGFIELD FOR THE DEBATE.

AFTER BEING A PART OF THE WATCH PARTY WITH THE GREENE COUNTY DEMOCRATS, CAROLE KING SHARED THEIR ENTHUSIASM FOR JOHN KERRY'S PERFORMANCE.

THIS WAS THE 1ST OF THREE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES BETWEEN PRESIDENT BUSH AND SENATOR KERRY.

THE NEXT DEBATE WILL TAKE PLACE AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST LOUIS NEXT FRIDAY.