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Conventions 2012 / CONVENTION INSIDERS POLL

Convention Insiders Poll

August 23, 2012

On balance, what’s more important for your party’s convention this year—to energize the base or appeal to swing voters?

Democrats (102 votes)

Appeal to swing voters: 53%
Energize the base: 46%
Both (volunteered): 1%

 

 

Appeal to swing voters

“The base is fired up and ready to go; [Todd] Akin did that!”

“In a narrow election, swing voters are the deciders.”

“ ‘Unconvinced’ 2008 Obama voters are now the undecideds most crucial to victory; Paul Ryan will take care of the base for us.”

“It’s the first time the indies are tuning in, and the base is already locked in.”

“While it is important to energize the progressive base of the Democratic Party, this group is not large enough to carry the important swing states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado.”

“There are a vanishingly small number of swing voters, but they matter a lot in 50-50 elections. We’d better be able to speak to them in terms that resonate, or we’re screwed.”

“Obama needs to remember that his speech isn’t directed to those in the hall but to those watching on television.”

“But let’s be honest—most won’t be listening all that much.”

Energize the base

“Conventions are for the party faithful, not for swing voters.”

“Obama wins if blacks and Hispanics vote.”

“You must energize the base first. Look at Democrats in 2010. No energy from the base, and [they] got their clocks cleaned. Swing voters are for October.”

“We’re ahead. We just need to make sure our people get to the polls. They will be watching. Swing voters likelier to be watching Wheel of Fortune.”

“While I believe the single most important thing for both parties is to appeal to swing voters, the convention is designed to energize the base.”

“There are just more nonenergized base voters than there are true undecideds.”

“The base needs a little red meat before they start chanting “Yes, We Can!” again.”

“No swing voters watch the convention—really bad TV.”

 

 

On balance, what’s more important for your party’s convention this year—to energize the base or appeal to swing voters?

Republicans (154 votes)

Appeal to swing voters: 71%
Energize the base: 22%
Both (volunteered): 5%
Define Romney, his agenda (volunteered): 2%

 

Appeal to swing voters

“With the selection of Rep. [Paul] Ryan, the base is very excited. The appeal now is to swing voters—the few that are left.”

“Obama has energized our base for us already. Now we need to appeal to swing voters and show them why a Romney-Ryan administration will get America back on track.”

“You have to do both, but the obvious fact is that neither party’s base is large enough to win outright.”

“Appeal does not mean pander. Be consistent and direct.”

“If Republicans cannot appeal to swing voters or independents, we won’t have any chance of reclaiming the White House.”

“Base will be energized enough with the prospect of voting against Obama.”

“You hope your base is energized already. An hour a night of network prime-time TV ideally reaches out beyond The Daily Show and [The Sean] Hannity audiences.”

“The base knows what it needs to do. Frankly, if they’re not hopping mad then they shouldn’t be considered part of the ‘base.’ ”

“The base is energized, but the swing voters are still up in the air. And, in order to actually govern, the victor needs more than just their base, as Bush 43 found out in his second term.”

“Primary is over. Somebody tell Boston.”

Energize the base

“There are very few swing voters out there: In this environment, it’s the base that must be turned out.”

“Romney is a moderate and already appeals to the swing voters. The hard-core Christians will never vote for a Mormon. Therefore, he needs to get the ones who will [get] behind him energized.”

“With swing voters on vacation, the convention is to fire up, and then organize, the base.”

“Persuadables aren’t going to be happy with either of these nominees. Get out the anti-Obama majority.”

 

 

When all is said and done, do you think this will be the most negative presidential campaign you’ve ever seen?

Democrats (101 Votes)

Yes: 64%
No: 36%

 

Yes

“Super PACs with no accountability!”

“These two will be remembered for running the most pathetically negative campaigns in the nation’s history.”

“It will be the most negative, because Democrats will finally play offense where they never have before!”

“And 2016 will be more so. Citizens United has opened the floodgates for negative ads that push and step on the line of accuracy, with candidates left with relatively clean hands.”

“These two nominees, and campaigns, don’t like each other and—more important—think they are both right on how to fix America.”

“Money in untold amounts breeds untold negativity.”

“The way of the world almost demands it. Positive speeches get one 30-second clip a day if you are lucky.”

“The Republicans will lie about everything to try to taint the true record of this great president, trying to work with a Congress whose only goal is to see him lose in November.”

“This president has been more disrespected than any other.”

“They say that every year, and they’re right.”

“Obama has few successes to tout, and Romney has no core message or plan to sell. That leaves both defaulting to nearly a 100 percent negative campaign.”

No

“Not a chance. We hear this talk every four years.”

“It’s only worse because we care currently living through it.”

“Remember Willie Horton? Remember Swift Boat Veterans for ‘Truth’? ”

“The vitriol coming at Obama in 2008 was worse: Muslim, terrorist friend, etc.”

“The campaigns against [Michael] Dukakis and [John] Kerry were both as nasty as stuff we’re seeing now. The volume is up, and, of course, the Obama guys are not just taking punches; they’re throwing them, too.”

“Face it, politics is dirty.”

 

 

When all is said and done, do you think this will be the most negative presidential campaign you’ve ever seen?

Republicans (162 votes)

Yes: 68%
No: 32%

 

Yes

“It is all Obama and his team have.”

“Because everything is at stake and all sides will unleash.”

“When choosing a pizza place for dinner the other night, my 8-year-old son asserted that one pizza place wasn’t so good. My 10-year-old son countered, comparing this to the incessant political commercials already dominating the airwaves in Iowa, and explained that you should talk about what’s good about the pizza you like, not what is bad about the pizza you don’t like.”

“Obama can’t run on his record, so his only hope is to sling a lot of mud and hope some of it sticks.”

“There once was a penalty to be paid for gross exaggeration or lying. With increased partisanship and weakness of news media, the price of mendacity is much lower today.”

“In [my] swing state, Obama’s ‘Hope and Change’ from 2008 has turned into ‘hop up and change the channel before another attack ad comes on.’ ”

“When the incumbent president starts out as negative as Obama has, the die is cast.”

“Chicago equals hand-to-hand combat campaigns.”

“When have you seen an incumbent go negative so early, so heavily and with such persistence? Answer: You haven’t.”

No

“They are all negative!”

“Who cares? Campaigns use the tactics that work. It is the peanut gallery that obsesses over what is negative.”

“Negativity in campaigns is like physical pain: Whatever you’re experiencing right now is the worst you ever suffered, but only because you can’t remember what’s come before as vividly.”

“The current president has less to run on than Bush in 2004. And unlike  Kerry in 2004, Romney (and the super PACs) will punch back.”

“The media likes to say it is the most negative presidential campaign ever, but it is August, and the media are covering themselves instead of focusing on issues.”

“But it well could be by the time we are done.”

______________

Democratic Convention Insiders  Jill Alper, Nick Ammann, John Anzalone, Ryan Banfill, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, James Blanchard, Stephanie Bosh, Rick Boylan, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Tom Daschle, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Michael Dino Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Damien Filer, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, Alma Gonzalez, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Megan Hannigan, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Leo Hindery, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Danny Homan, Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Susan Kennedy, Lisa Kountoupes, Dawn Laguens, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Beth Matuga, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, Moses Mercado, John Merrigan,  J. Todd Metcalf, Michael Monroe, Erick Mullen, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, John Ost, Jeffrey Peck, Joe Perry, LeeAnn Petersen, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Tim Punke, Jack Quinn, Oscar Ramirez, Larry Rasky, Beth Rawlins, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Robin Rorapaugh, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Ron Sachs, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Dane Strother, Scott Surovell, Katrina Swett, David Thomas, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Steve Vancore, George E. Wallace, Screven Watson, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby. 

GOP Convention Insiders Kevin Abbott, Chad Airhart, Tim Albrecht, Ray Allen, Peter Angerhofer, Charlie Arlinghaus, Brian Ballard, Slater Bayliss, Brad Blais, Grant Bosse, Michael Bousselot, Sally Bradshaw, Kevin Brady, Jamie Burnett, Jeb Bush Jr., Bertica Cabrera, James Centers, Amelia Chasse, Alan Cobb, Tom Cole, Len Collins, Paul Collins, Bradford E. Cook, Lynne Cottrell, Peter Cownie, Renee Dabbs, Mikel Derby, Jose Diaz, Nelson Diaz, Janel Domenico, Brett Doster, Charlie Dudley, Brian Dumas, John Dunagan, Ed Dupont, Tom Feeney, Brenna Findley, Jay Flanders, Ken Flechler, Jim Foley, Christian Fong, Jose Fuentes, Dave Funk, Randall Gerard, Adam Goodman, Adam Gregg, Sandy Greiner, Steve Grubbs, Chris Hagenow, Matt Hagerty, Erin Hass, Rich Heffley, Erik Helland, Darrell Henry, Ann Herberger, Mark Hillman, Matt Hinch, Doug Hoelscher, Jennifer Horn, Mark Hudson, Caleb Hunter, Patrick Hynes, Todd Inman, David Jamison, Eric Johansen, Christina Johnson, David Johnson, Periklis Karoutas, Matthew Keelen, Jake Ketzner, Rich Killion, Gary Kirke, Walt Klein, Matt Knoedler, Gary Lambert, Ladonna Y. Lee, Frederick Leonhardt, Corey Lewandowski, Carlos M. Lopez-Cantera, Jim MacEachern, Kerry Marsh, Alberto E. Martinez, Don McDowell, Shannon McGinley, Christopher McGowan, Will McKinley, Kathy Mears, Dan Meyer, Betsy Miller, Paul Mitchell, Ana Navarro, Steve Northrup, Roy Palmer, Ed J. Pozzuoli, Christopher Rants, Marc Reichelderfer, Todd Reid, Dave Rexrode Jim Rimes, Craig Robinson, Monica Rodriguez, Richard Rogers, Marc A. Ross, Sarah Rumpf, Nick Ryan, John Ryder, Renee Schulte, Pete Silva, Suzan Stewart, Ted Stopulos, Cameron Sutton, John Tate, Jo Thoburn, Cory Tilley, Joe Wall, Ed Wallace, Peter Week, Susan Wiles, Shari Williams, Eric Woolson, Will Wrobleski, Grant Young

 

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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