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article imageRomney's convention speech gets lowest ratings in poll history

By Yukio Strachan     Sep 3, 2012 in Politics
Tampa - Mitt Romney is making history. Romney's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week has set a new record for the lowest rated convention speech for a presidential candidate in Gallup poll's history
Of those surveyed on Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2012, only 38 percent of respondents said his speech was excellent or good, compared to 47 percent who thought 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain's speech was excellent or good, CBS news said.
Romney's rating of 38 percent makes his speech the lowest rating of any presidential candidate's convention speech since Gallup started scoring them in 1996, according to the polling firm Gallup.
According to CBS news, McCain's acceptance speech received the next lowest approval ratings in Gallup's polling.
Romney's speech was rated as poor or terrible among 16% of respondents, twice the percentage who thought McCain's speech, which received the second highest negative rating, was terrible, CBS news reported.
The Gallup poll seemed to echo the reaction that the conservative Wall Street Journal had about Romney's speech. In an editorial piece called "Mitt's Speech Gamble," the paper said that by "not explaining his agenda, he left an opening for Democrats."
"Neither he nor the entire GOP convention made a case for his economic policy agenda. He and Paul Ryan promised to help the middle class, but they never explained other than in passing how they would do it."
While voters didn't warm up to Romney's speech, the low rating did not effect how they would vote. "Americans' relatively weak reaction to the Republican convention does not appear to have hurt their likelihood of voting for Romney so far, although it apparently is related to the lack of a typical convention bounce," Gallup's news release said.
But the most important sector of voters to persuade, however, are the independents, and they are evenly split on their response to Romney's acceptance speech, says CBS news. Thirty-six percent said they are more likely to back him while 33 percent said they are less likely. Another 30 percent said they are unsure or their view did not change.
Second-lowest amount of viewers
Many Americans today do not sit down on the couch with popcorn and watch the conventions live on television. Gallup found that voters may see bits and pieces of political conventions from the Internet or on other broadcast or cable programs.
That being said, last week's convention had the second-lowest amount of viewers out of all eight conventions since 1996. Only the Republican convention in 1996 was viewed on TV by fewer Americans.
And the most watched out of all eight conventions? Here's a guess: "The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." You betcha, the 2008 Republican convention in which McCain was nominated for president and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was confirmed as the Republicans' vice presidential nominee.
All in all, Americans' immediate reactions to the Republican convention do not by themselves predict who is going to win in November, Gallup says.
"Still, these preliminary data show that both the self-reported impact of the convention and the evaluation of Romney's speech are at the bottom of the scale of comparable evaluations from recent conventions."
More about Mitt Romney, convention speech, Republican National Convention, Gallup poll
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