South Floridians Gather for Vice Presidential Debate Parties

Romney's son, Wasserman-Schultz watch debate in Coral Gables, South Beach

Politicos from both parties gathered across South Florida to watch Thursday night's debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan at separate events.

As Biden and Ryan went head-to-head, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart watched from an Irish pub in Coral Gables, with Mitt Romney's son Craig nearby.

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Craig Romney said the debates are good gauges, unfiltered and free-flowing conversations that worked well for his dad.

""I think it's very important, I think to a large degree a lot of people just know him by his opponent's ads or by what they see in the paper," Romney said of his father. "When they really just see him for who he is, I think they see a different side than what they expected."

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Meanwhile, Obama supporters gathered at a party in South Beach. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was in attendance at the party organized by Dan Gelber.

"Clearly different types of people with clearly different agendas," Gelber said. "The president's agenda is one that cares about everyday people and the Romney agenda is one that cares about a very narrow swath of very wealthy special interests."

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The debate came as a new Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times poll shows Romney has a large lead over Obama in Florida. According to the poll, Romney has a 7 percentage-point lead, making it 51-44.

It's an 8-point shift from last month and indicates the key factor for the jump is Romney's performance in last week's presidential debate.

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The poll measured 800 likely Florida voters who were surveyed in October and September in the South Florida, Tampa and Orlando areas.

The Herald poll shows the biggest boost to Romney's numbers in Florida came from independent voters. Florida is one of the big swing states he must get in his favor to win the general election, which is now less than 30 days away.

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