Red Mitten Survey: 'Speech of His Life' Sparks Enthusiasm for Romney

In a Red Mitten survey of influential Michigan Republicans, most respondents felt that Mitt Romney made a strong case for why he should be president following the party conventions.

Mitt Romney effectively stated his case to be the next president of the United States at the Republican National Convention: that’s the finding of the latest Red Mitten flash poll of influential Republicans.

Fifty-eight Republicans from southeastern Michigan used an automated anonymous survey tool to offer their opinions following the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Thirty-eight responses were collected.

“Mitt Romney gave the speech of his life and for the first time laid out specifics,” one respondent said. “I wasn't for Mitt in the primary but he has the best plan and direction for this country.”

Nineteen respondents said they “strongly agree” that Romney made a strong case for why he should be president; 18 said they “agree”; and one respondent said they “strongly disagree.”

One insider said the RNC highlighted the “emphasis on leadership and Romney's business savvy and point(ed) out it’s the private sector who we need to pull us out of this economic downturn.”

Twelve respondents pointed to Romney’s speech as the top highlight of the convention in Tampa two weeks ago.

Other highlights cited by Michigan influencers were speeches by Romney's wife, Ann Romney, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Ann Romney’s speech struck a chord with some influencers who said they appreciated the GOP’s focus on women.

“The strongest sentiment that was delivered by the GOP National Convention was the seeming bridge of the gender gap,” one respondent said. “The convention was fraught with many dignified women giving credence that the GOP is not only a boys club. This statement was made all the more clear by Ann Romney's address.”

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood’s convention appearance—in which he used an empty chair as a prop—drew the most criticism from Michigan influencers.

“The Clint Eastwood chair debacle was probably the biggest gaffe made throughout the convention,” one insider said. “What was supposed to be a message and stirring speech to unite the party quickly turned into nothing short of a three ring circus. The incident overshadows the messages that the GOP want to reach, and muddles the understanding of the American people.”

Several Michigan Republican influencers said the highlight of the Democratic National Convention was former President Bill Clinton’s speech.

But the influencers were more critical of another speech that grabbed headlines at the DNC. Seven respondents said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s speech was the biggest misstep by Democrats.

“She ‘blew them away’ with rhetoric and emotions that were really of no consequence,” one insider said. “Really detracted from the rest of the convention.”

Several respondents also criticized the Democrats’ platform, particularly the controversy surrounding mentioning God and naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It “showed their utter contempt for religion and our partnership with Israel,” one influencer said. “These are not values Democrats champion despite rhetoric otherwise.”

Respondents also knocked the Democrats' approach to the economy.

“Trying to put lipstick on a piggish economy doesn't make the applicator look any better,” one respondent said.

Other results of the survey:

  • Nineteen respondents said they were more confident that Romney could win Michigan in the presidential election, and 16 insiders said their opinions had not changed since the conventions. Two respondents said they were less confident of Romney’s chances since the convention, and one left his answer blank.
  • Twenty-one respondents said they “agree” that Romney provided specifics on his goals for the next four years and how he would achieve them in his convention speech; nine said they “strongly agree”; six said they “disagree”; one said they “strongly disagree”; and one said they had “no opinion.”
  • Twenty-two influencers said they “strongly agree” that Romney showed the American people key differences between him and Obama; 14 said they “agree”; one said they “disagree”; and one had no opinion.
  • Fifteen respondents said they “strongly agree” that Republican convention provided the party with the momentum it needs to get the base to turn out for what is expected to be a close election; 12 said they “agree”; two said they “disagree”; one said “strongly disagree”; seven said they had no opinion; and one left the answer blank.
  • Fifteen influencers said the Republican and Democratic conventions will have “somewhat of an effect on the election; 13 said the conventions will not have much of an effect on the election; five said it will have a significant effect; and five said it will have no effect.

The Red Mitten Survey

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Michigan. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to today’s questions. Surveys were conducted from Sept. 10 through Sept. 13, 2012.

Patch will be conducting Red Mitten surveys for Republicans and Blue Mitten surveys for Democrats throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals in Michigan. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that last just a few minutes, please email Associate Regional Editor John Hetzler at john.hetzler@patch.com.

Red Michigan roster: Prudy Adam (Genesee County Republican Chair); Neal Barnett (Bloomfield Township Trustee); Brian Belesky; Cindy Berry (Candidate for Chesterfield Township Clerk); Mark Bliss (Candidate for State Rep); Tony Brown (Fenton Township Trustee); Dino Bucci (Macomb Township Trustee); Jim Carson (Dexter Village trustee); Jacob Collison; Helen Cost (Past President of Royal Oak Republican Women’s Club); Sean Cotton; Hugh Crawford (State Rep); Kathy Crawford (Oakland County Commissioner); Joseph Daly; Dan Devine (Bloomfield Township Treasurer); Chuck Dittmar; James Drolett (Candidate for Dexter Township Supervisor); Janet Dunn (Macomb Township Trustee); Ron Dwyer; Ryan Eaton; Kathy Elliott; Justin Fischer (Novi City Council); Anthony Forlini (State Rep); Becky Freeman; Scott Freeman; Bob Gatt (Mayor of Novi); Matt Germane (Hartland Township Trustee); Joe Green; Pat Hardy (Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner); Karen Jacobsen; Corinne Khederian (Bloomfield Township Trustee); Richard Lerner (Farmington Hills City Council); C.J. Maier (Candidate for sheriff in Livingston County); Mike McCready (Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner, Candidate for State Rep); Sarah McLure (Bloomfield Hills Mayor); Rob Montilla (Chairman of the Republican Committee of Northern Macomb County); Drex Morton; Nancy Nevers (Macomb Township Trustee); Brian Perks; Mark Ouimet (State Rep); Thomas Pustelak; Harley Rider (Dexter Township Clerk); Janet Roncelli (Bloomfield Township Clerk); Jim Runestad (Oakland County Commissioner); Joe Sabatini (Macomb County Commissioner); Aaron Sarver (U-M Dearborn College Republicans Co-Chairman); John A. Scott (Oakland County Commissioner); Bill Shaw (Candidate for Oakland County Commissioner); Pat Somerville (State Rep); David Staudt (Mayor Pro-Tem of Novi); Shelley Taub (Bloomfield Township Clerk); Aaron Tuckfield; Brad Urdan (candidate for state Rep); Wanda Warsinski (President of Royal Oak Republican Women’s Club); Paul Welday; Pamela Williams; John Wolfsberger (Macomb Township Precinct Delegate); Wayne Wrobel (Novi City Council); Tom Yaschen (Chesterfield Township Trustee)

Lynn Vander Meer September 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Please respect other people's viewpoints and choices. LISTEN to what is being said. There is always a reason for people to believe as they do and why they support their candidate. We need to find common ground if we are to survive. We all have one vote. Use it wisely. Get the big picture and don't vote single issue or because that is how your priest, preacher or boss suggests that you vote. Use your brain.
Gary M. Wilson, Esq. September 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM
"The Speech of his Life" is a relative phrase...
Gary M. Wilson, Esq. September 20, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Uh-oh--Tim Pawlenty just bailed as National Co-Chairman of the Romney campaign. Worse, he left to take a position as a high-powered lobbyist for the banking industry. How ironic.
Carolo September 24, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Enthusiasm? His poll numbers never even moved.
Gregory September 24, 2012 at 09:19 PM
It is hard to compete when the news media is BLUE. Do they report how big of a fraud this president has been. One intentional lie after another. Also, he just called the death of the American ambassador a "bump in the road". Or here is a peach....comment from President Barack Obama, at the Univision forum in Florida earlier, on things he has learned after four years: "You can't change Washington from the inside." Really what the point of reelecting him. Change you believe in.


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