Although people watching the first of the 2012 presidential debates in Denver on Wednesday night weren't permitted to cheer or jeer, those watching at local viewing parties did.
In Livonia, at the OneUnder Bar & Grill on Five Mile Road, the two 11th Congressional district Republican groups met to watch the debate in the company of fellow Mitt Romney supporters.
State Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox and candidate for the Wayne County commission, Shannon Price, were also in attendance. They all will be listed on the ballot in November.
Northville resident and Wayne 11th Congressional District Republican Committee chair Joseph Xuereb said Romney has had a mobilizing effect on local GOP supporters.
"I haven't seen this level of grassroots involvement in a long time," Xuereb said. "I think it's attributable to the fact that everyone realizes this country is at a precipice. Four more years of Obama is going to crush us in terms of debt and hidden taxes."
Romney's background as a businessman helps him connect with Michigan voters, he said.
In downtown Northville, about 70 Obama supporters packed a room at the Northville Sports Den to cheer on their candidate.
11th Congressional District Democratic candidate Syed Taj addressed the group and state Democratic chair Mark Brewer watched the debate with the group.
Northville Democratic Club Vice President Lisa DiRado was pleased with the event's turnout. It gave the club an opportunity to recruit more volunteers to canvass and work its phone bank. The club, which has 238 members, hopes to reach 250 by election day on Nov. 6.
"I think people realize they want to support our president because he's everybody's president," DiRado said. "People in Northville and people around the state of Michigan know he's really trying to help the middle class."
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