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Political Insiders Poll

April 12, 2012

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not at all and 10 being fatal, how much has the GOP primary hurt Mitt Romney?

Democrats (104 votes)

Average: 6.7

Low Damage (1-3): 6%
Moderate Damage (4-6): 28%
High Damage (7-10): 66%


Low (1-3)

“Despite the ‘conventional wisdom,’ a longer, tougher primary season makes for stronger nominees and better presidents; better to be the victor than the anointed.” 

Moderate (4-6)

“All primaries hurt the eventual nominee. While this primary has not been helpful, his problems with the base were there before the primary.”

“Primaries almost always look like they are more harmful in their waning days than they do by Election Day. This moment is, in all likelihood, as bad as Mitt Romney will look the entire cycle.”

“Not only was he pulled much further to the extreme right than most swing voters, he was exposed as an elitist and a flip-flopper, all at the same time. A disastrous trifecta for him and a messaging dream for the Democrats.”

High (7-10)

“The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, Romney was running ahead of to even with the president. Now he’s behind by 8 to 10 points.”

“Not fatal but a grievous injury. Voters in the center who decide elections just HATE the tea party sucking-up, and Latinos are moving to Obama in droves.”

“In 30 years, I’ve never seen such a damaging primary season. Attacking one another is one thing. Attacking contraceptives and college is another.”

“Romney has been defined by it as antiwoman and anti-minority, and it will now take a major, unexpected turn in the economy or in foreign affairs to get him out of the hole he is nominated into.”

“To paraphrase Spinal Tap, this one should go to 11. He is damaged goods today in a way that he was not in January.”


On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not at all and 10 being fatal, how much has the GOP primary hurt Mitt Romney?

Republicans (101 votes)

Average: 4.3

Low Damage (1-3): 42%
Moderate Damage (4-6): 43%
High Damage (7-10): 16%

Low (1-3)

“Every four years, reporters write this story. This will be old news soon, and voters will be focused on the next four years.”

“Winners win, and Romney won. The angst over the GOP base not coming together assumes there is not unifying hatred of Obama. That assumption is false.”

Moderate (4-6)

“Flipping Mitt’s image from net-favorable to net-unfavorable among swing voters costs more than the time and money lost.”

“A bit worse than normal but repairable and survivable, and he is a far better candidate than at the start.”

“In a few more weeks, this will be long forgotten. The spears thrown between the Obama and Romney camps will make the primary look like a spitball contest.”

“It hasn’t hurt him any more than a primary hurts any candidate for office. Every candidate has to be prepared to confront their negatives, and Romney is now ready.”

“The primaries have damaged his brand, but at the end of the day, the election will be a referendum on the president, not on how Romney handled his intramural scrimmage.”

High (7-10)

“Some of this will fade away, but Romney made enough gaffes to enhance the Obama campaign’s already-stellar opposition research book.”

“Republican activists have once again demonstrated that they excel at the art of purity over victory. They have proven that when they talk about the economy, they really are just using the issue as a screen to mask their extremist social agenda.”


Which presidential battleground state will play the most pivotal role in the general election?

Democrats (102 votes)

Ohio: 36%
Florida: 40%
Virginia: 14%
Pennsylvania: 6%
Colorado: 2%
Nevada: 2%


“Ohio. So what else is new?”

“It always comes down to Ohio. If you can’t win in Ohio, you’ll have difficulty throughout the Midwest.”

 “Any campaign pitting the 99 percent against the 1 percent will start in places like Ohio.”


“Obama is more likely to win in Florida than in Ohio, and he needs to win one of them.”

“If Obama wins Florida, the Republicans cannot get to 270. In contrast, Obama has several paths to victory.”

 “I just don’t see how the Republicans peel off 93 electoral votes without Florida.”


“Romney will win Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Florida. Obama will win Ohio and Pennsylvania. Virginia is anybody’s guess, and with the [Tim] Kaine-[George] Allen Senate race likely to go down to the wire, control of the Senate could also be at stake.”


“Obama must make up ground in a state he won easily in 2008 to prevent a big electoral swing to the GOP.”


“Colorado, like Nevada and other southwestern states, is pivotal terrain in the new Democratic majority, as Democrats have no hold in the South.”


“All about Hispanics.”


Which presidential battleground state will play the most pivotal role in the general election?

Republicans (100 votes) 

Ohio: 54%
Florida: 19%
Virginia: 9%
Pennsylvania: 8%
Colorado: 8%
Nevada: 2%


“No Ohio, no victory.”

“Ohio will be ground zero for the test of the two approaches to the economy.”

“No Republican has ever been elected president without carrying the state of Ohio.”


“If the polls about the Jewish vote dropping off for Obama are correct, Florida could be a major stumbling block.”

“If the GOP can overcome Obama’s ‘Mediscare’ tactics, Romney will win handily.”

“It’s a necessary route back for the Republicans with older people and Hispanic voters. And it’s an expanding state.”


“The results will indicate whether Virginia (and North Carolina) are still competitive or whether they have soured on the extreme social agenda of Republicans for the long term.”


“Way too early to even speculate, but if the GOP carries Pennsylvania, they are not going to leave.”

“Romney is ahead, and his conservative brand doesn’t frighten eastern [states]. If Obama can’t hold the Keystone State, he’s toast.”


“All six will be hard-fought, yet only a meltdown denies Florida, Ohio, and Virginia to the Republicans or Pennsylvania to the Democrats. Each can survive losing Nevada. But Colorado is a must-win for both.”


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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