Republicans Still Not Sure Romney Can Win NH
Red Granite survey: Republican says Romney should take cue from Clint Eastwood: 'Attack!'
New Hampshire Republicans remain unconvinced that Mitt Romney can win the state this November: that's the main finding of this week's Red Granite survey of influential New Hampshire Republicans.
What can Romney do to increase his chances of victory in this swing state?
One Republican respondent cited Clint Eastwood's controversial "empty chair" speech at the Republican National Convention. "It was a direct hit on Obama's weaknesses," the New Hampshire Republican said. "Romney should learn from the tactic – maybe not the style – attack!"
In this week's Red Granite survey, 113 Republicans were asked questions using an automated survey tool how they would assess Romney's chances of winning the Granite State now that both conventions are over.
Thirty-seven responses were collected.
Only 43 percent said they are more confident in Romney's ability to win New Hampshire now than they were before the conventions. Seventeen percent said they are actually less confident in Romney's chances, while 40 percent said their opinion hasn't changed.
"It was the most boring convention ever," one Republican influential said.
That's a stark contrast to how New Hampshire Democrats felt after their convention. Ninety-one percent of those responding to a similar survey last week said they were more confident of Obama's ability to win New Hampshire, and not one said they were feeling less confident about Obama's chances post-convention.
We also asked our Republican influentials if they felt Romney gave a strong case for why he should be the next president in his convention speech. Thirty-two percent said they strongly agreed, and 32 percent agreed. Twenty percent said they disagreed, 3 percent said they strongly disagreed, and 12 percent had no opinion at all.
Again, the total of 64 percent who responded positively is far fewer than the 91 percent who either strongly agreed or agreed that Obama made a convincing case for his re-election in last week's poll.
When asked if Romney provided enough specifics in his speech on his goals for the next four years, 57 percent either strongly agreed or agreed. Fourteen percent said they had no opinion, 20 percent said they disagreed, and 9 percent said they strongly disagreed.
Fifty-one percent of those responding said they strongly agreed that Romney showed the American people the key differences between him and Obama during his convention speech. Another 26 percent said they agreed, while 11 percent said they had no opinion. Three percent disagreed and 9 percent strongly disagreed.
Most Republicans responding to the survey also said they felt the RNC provided the party with the momentum needed to turn out the base on Nov. 6. Thirty-one percent said they strongly agreed, and another 31 percent agreed. Nine percent had no opinion, 20 percent disagreed, and 9 percent strongly disagreed.
Eleven percent of those responding to the survey said the conventions will have a significant impact on the outcome of the election, 34 percent said they will have somewhat of an effect, 43 percent said not much of an effect, and 11 percent said no effect at all.
Most cited Paul Ryan's speech and Clint Eastwood's "empty chair" speech as the highlights of the RNC. Others referenced the speeches by Ann Romney, Rand Paul and Condoleezza Rice.
"Clint Eastwood," said one respondent. "But I think many people missed what he was doing. The younger you are, the less you understand the approach and communication with older voters."
Several influential Republicans cited the failure to let Ron Paul speak as the greatest misstep of the convention.
"HUGE misstep to cut out Ron Paul delegates and disenfranchise voters," one respondent said. "Even though I was not a Ron Paul supporter, I am very troubled by the GOP establishment strong-arming the Republican voter."
Another Republican lamented the absence of Sarah Palin and the fact that the Tea Party was mostly kept out of the limelight during the convention.
Most Republicans had a hard time coming up with anything good to say about the Democratic National Convention. But those who did most often referenced Bill Clinton's speech.
When it comes to missteps at the Democratic National Convention, many Republicans cited nominating Obama, while others cited the initial decision to keep God out of the party's platform.
The Red Granite Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in New Hampshire. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between Sept. 17 and Sept. 20, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Granite and Blue Granite surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Marc Fortier at email@example.com.
Red Granite Roster: Zac Johnson (Technical writer), Mauri Foster (Retired), Marie Lopez-Reyes (Small business owner), Eduardo Lopez-Reyes (Republican Liberty Caucus, National Vice Chair), Harry McClard (Freelance writer), Pam Tucker (Deputy House Speaker), Gary Ellmer (Chairman, Portsmouth Republican Committee), John Lyons (Lawyer), Rick Paige (Loan officer), Chris Buck (Republican activist), Jerry Delemus (Republican activist), Tasha Olsen (Republican activist) Jim Waddell (State Rep), Russell Bridle (Former State Rep), Alan Williams (North Hampton resident, former Exeter Selectman), Amy Perkins (State Rep), Lawrence Perkins (State Rep), Diane Bitter (Republican activist), Michele Peckham (State Rep), Fred Rice (State Rep), David Hurst (NH Young Republicans Chairman), Sheila Francoeur (Seacoast Republican Women member), Brandon Stauber (Small business owner), Frank Ferraro (Exeter Selectman), Matt Quandt (State Rep/Exeter Selectman), Julie DiCarlo (Small business owner), Ron DiCarlo (Small business owner), Lee Quandt (State Rep), Tim Copeland (State Rep), Steve Brennan (Business owner), Brian Griset (Member of local political committee), Dan St. Hilaire (Executive Councilor/Concord City Councilor), Kris MacNeil (Former State Senate candidate), Robert Washburn (Former Concord City Councilor), Stephen Ludwick (Chairman, Supervisors of the Checklist, Concord Ward 9), Chris Tremblay (Republican activist), Laura Foote (Republican activist), Tom Rath (Consultant), Shari Demers (Republican activist), Jamie Burnett (Consultant), Spec Bowers (State Rep), Bill Boyd (Merrimack Town Councilor), Chris Christensen (State Rep), William Smith (Conservative blogger), Maureen Mooney (Former State Rep), Dick Hinch (State Rep), Chris Buda (Merrimack GOP Chairman), Juanita Dangel (Hillsborough County GOP Secretary), Lenette Peterson (State Rep), Kathy Stroud (State Rep), George Markwell (Merrimack School Board member), Gary Azarian (State Rep), Ed Brooks (Former ME Selectman, Town Councilor), Ed Declercq (Salem Planning Board Member), Bob Elliott (State Rep), Bianca Garcia (Former Salem GOP Victory office manager), David Garcia (Salem Town GOP Chair), Pat Hargreaves (Salem Selectman), Jeff Hatch (Salem Romney Town Chair), Tom Linehan (Republican activist), Patrick McDougall (Salem Budget Committee member), Joseph Sweeney (State Rep candidate), Dave Paquette (Former Atkinson BudCom member), Keith Murphy (State Rep), Andrew Manuse (State Rep), Joel Maiola (Former Judd Gregg Chief of Staff), Ken Hawkins (State Rep), Jim Costello (Teacher), Eric Anderson (Former State Rep), John Cebrow (State Rep), Jim Rubens (Former State Senator), Raymond White (State Senator), John Graham (State Rep), Kathy Benuck (BCTV host/blogger), Stephen Poschmann (Bedford GOP liaison), Bill Walker (Conservative blogger), Laura Condon (Republican activist), Mark Vincent (Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Peter Hansen (State Rep), Ken Jones (Amherst Republicans member), Bill Modis (Vice Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Steve Landry (Small business owner), Tony Zore (Tea Party member), Lisa Hansen (Romney supporter), Gary Daniels (State Rep), Tom Walker (Conservative Republican), Jennifer Horn (Republican activist), Jim Luther (State Senator), Michael Gallagher (Nashua Republican City Committee), Mark Cookson (Nashua Alderman-at-large), J. Christopher Williams (Nashua Chamber of Commerce President), Pete Silva (House Majority Leader), Bob Duffy (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Di Lothrop (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Kathryn Peterson (Delegate to NH GOP Convention), Pam Price (Former State Rep), David Bates (State Rep), Charles McMahon (State Rep), Kevin Waterhouse (State Rep), Bruce Breton (Windham Selectman), Travis Blais (Windham GOP Chairman), Phil LoChiatto (Windham Selectman), Margaret Crisler (Windham GOP member), Donna Mauro (State Rep), Rich Okerman (State Rep), Kevin Avard (State Rep), David Murotake (State Rep candidate), Pam Skinner (Windham Planning Board), Jane Aitken (NH Tea Party Coalition), Corey Lewandowski (AFP-NH director), Ovide Lamontagne (Gubernatorial candidate), Kevin Smith (Gubernatorial candidate), Robert Boyle (State Rep candidate), Rick Parent (Congressional candidate), Vern Clough (Congressional candidate).