Ann Romney, who has grown as forceful advocate for her husband throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, was widely seen by Republican and Democratic party operative and activists alike as having delivered the best speech of the GOP convention headliners on Tuesday night.
Those are the findings of National Journal’s Convention Insiders Poll conducted Tuesday night immediately after Christie wrapped up his keynote address. The poll is anonymous survey on Monday of Democratic and Republican Party and elected officials, grassroots activists, consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists and allied interest group leaders.
The Convention Insiders were asked: “Which speech do you think helped Mitt Romney the most; Ann Romney’s or Chris Christie’s?” Among the 114 Republican Convention Insiders who responded within two hours of the close of the convention, more than three quarters (79%) said that Romney had helped the GOP nominee the most. And among the 65 Democratic Insiders who responded, more than three-fourths (77%) thought that Romney’s wife had bested the Garden State GOP governor.
Many Republican Convention Insiders thought that Romney “humanized” her spouse, while others saw Christie’s speech as lacking focus.
“Ann tonight was able to tell the story about Mitt better than he can,” said one GOP Convention Insider. “She did a great job laying out the human side of him and their relationship.” Another echoed, “She put a human face on Mitt.”
Some of the reviews of Christie were rough. “Hard to think anyone will remember Chris Christie's speech, but a lot of people won't forget Ann Romney's,” said one GOP convention Insider. “It was heartfelt, quotable, and authentic.” Another asserted, “For such a big personality, Chris' speech seemed small and unfocused - no doubt many will be disappointed.”
Democrats agreed with their GOP counterparts. “Ann Romney speech was the only one about election 72 days from now,” said one Democratic Convention Insider. “Christie was about 2016. She did a great job.” Added another, “She was a homerun. His was poorly written and average delivery.”
For a list of the Insiders, please visit nationaljournal.com/2012-conventions-insiders.