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Political Insiders Poll

July 19, 2012

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally ineffective and 10 being perfect, how would you rate Mitt Romney’s campaign since winning the nomination?


Average: 4.1

1-3: 42%
4-6: 51%
7-10: 7%



“I feel like Obama must have a sleeper agent inside the Romney operation—otherwise, there is campaign malpractice afoot.”

“He’s not in the John McCain, Bob Dole, Mike Dukakis class yet, but he’s moving in that direction.”

“He has allowed himself to get defined in the worst light possible—as a superrich outsourcer.”

“Now I understand why this campaign had such a difficult time winning against the likes of Santorum, Gingrich, and Cain.”

“Gaffe, Bain, Repeat. Gaffe, Tax Return, Repeat. Gaffe, Bain, Repeat.”

“There has been a striking inability to respond to issues that the campaign should have vetted long ago.”


“The problem is the candidate—and no staff can fix that.”

“Did a good job of shutting up crazy Republican opponents, but is getting dominated in daily news cycles by the Obama machine.”

“Romney needs a new motto: ‘Always attack, never defend.’ ”

“How in the hell did they let Romney’s status at Bain in 1999 become more important than 8.2 percent unemployment?”

“Better than expected. The contentious primaries foretold a long season of difficulty in stitching the party together; there is more pro-Romney energy and enthusiasm from the Right than expected, and his focus on Obama has been relentless.”

“He is not a great campaigner. He has trouble connecting with ‘real people.’ But he has a solid operation and is not making a lot of mistakes.”


“A lot of it is less about him than it is about GOP mega-donors willing to spend whatever it takes to finish their takeover of the federal government.”


On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally ineffective and 10 being perfect, how would you rate Mitt Romney’s campaign since winning the nomination?


Average: 5.9

1-3: 13%
4-6: 40%
7-10: 47%


“A strategy of duck and cover will not carry the day. We have made the sale that we should fire the incumbent, but we have to transition into a message of why it is OK to put our guy in the Oval Office.”

“Need to go back to Messaging 101 in campaign school.”


“He’s playing to not lose, which is different from playing to win.”

“Swiss bank accounts and hidden tax returns. Really?”

“They’ve hung in against an incumbent president, but they need a more compelling alternative vision for the country, and they keep getting caught on eminently predictable obstacles like releasing taxes.”

“A couple unforced errors, but overall a crisp and tight operation. Haven’t got the big message that connects yet, but a convention and the post-Labor Day period await, and he’ll have all the money he needs.”

“Team Mittens is playing a gentlemen’s tennis game while Obama
is playing rugby.”


“Hey, Romney critics, our guy is out-raising the incumbent and holding him under 50 percent in nearly every swing state. What
more could you hope for?”

“Great job uniting the party and raising money—now let’s put Bain to bed.”

“Had a few good weeks, but how they bungled Bain story with an opponent who has never created a job in his life is beyond me.”

“Mitt needs to make his campaign as strong as he is. Right now, the campaign is lagging behind the candidate’s abilities.”

“You don’t get to be president by winning July.”


Is attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital an effective tactic for Democrats?


Highly effective: 79%
Somewhat effective: 19%
Not effective: 2%

Highly effective

“Great summertime strategy. Rough him up, keep the campaign off balance, start bipartisan pundit-class carping; all the while, knowing there is a lot more to the campaign than this flap.”

“Especially if coupled with his missing tax returns, which is really going to be his downfall.”

“Team Obama ignored the East Coast bed wetters and the superrich-donor whining and ran with Bain in the battleground states, and it is working.”

“Just look at the narrative. Instead of talking about weak June jobs report, the media and voters are focused on Bain, Swiss bank accounts, and Romney not releasing his tax returns. Remarkable.”

“Straight from the Rove ’04 playbook, the Bain attack goes after Romney’s perceived strength, undermining the central rationale for his candidacy. The Romney campaign’s inept response has made it all the more devastating.”

“It is a terrible time to be running as an oligarch.”

“What else does Obama have other than attacking Romney?”

Somewhat effective

“It’s good for the base, but does it move independents?”

“It puts Romney on defense, and takes the conversation away from the economy, but I just don’t think most Americans are paying very much attention to any of this stuff right now, anyway. Romney is certainly acting like they’re not!”

“It’s helpful in some states, but only goes so far. Obama needs to reopen its earlier attacks on his record as governor.”


Is attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital an effective tactic for Democrats?


Highly effective: 22%
Somewhat effective: 67%
Not effective: 12%

Highly effective

“It’s effective only because the Romney campaign has been so bad at responding.”

“Romney’s nom de guerre is as a business exec. If he flubbed that up (even slightly), makes him look more like a Fred Thompson and less like a Reagan.”

“The message is not particularly effective, but the fact that Romney seems totally incapable of responding is. Didn’t they know this was coming since about 1994?”

“Not substantively but politically, since it is a wide opening for Obama to define an as-yet-to-be-defined candidate. Seriously folks, release the tax returns and get on with it.”

Somewhat effective

“It’s effective, only because the Romney campaign is allowing it to be. Romney cannot run from Bain, yet that’s what the Obama campaign has got him doing.”

“If the election is about Bain, Obama wins. If it is about the economy, Romney wins. Very simple.”

“It beats anything else that might be talked about, but anyone moved by attacks on his business career are unlikely to vote Republican anyway.”

“The Bain attacks are sticking, but it is part of a larger narrative that is on the verge of defining him as an out-of-touch rich guy who doesn’t understand the problems middle-class families are facing. At the same time, Obama is doubling down on a strategy that will likely end in him being perceived as hostile to business.”

Not effective

“In the end, the election will be a referendum on Obama and the economy—not on Romney’s private-sector record.”

“Big investment by Chicago has not moved numbers in polls. ‘Liar’ and ‘felon’ are offensive words to independent voters.”


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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