According to new poll by the Pew Research Center, more Americans are interested in Bill Clinton’s convention speech (52%) than Mitt Romney’s (44%).
The Pew Research Center poll found that only 44% of Americans are interested in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. Interest in Romney’s speech among Republicans (76%) is about the same as it was for previous GOP nominees in 2008 and 2000, but only 40% of Independents are interesting in what Romney will say on Thursday night.
Just 46% of Americans, and 41% of Independents are interested in Paul Ryan’s speech, and more people are interested in the Republican Party platform (50%) than they are in Romney or Ryan. In 2000, 53% were interested in watching George W. Bush’s acceptance speech. In 2008, 52% were interested in watching John McCain’s acceptance speech. Romney has generated eight points less interest than the less than charismatic McCain went into his convention with four years ago.
In contrast, 51% of those surveyed expressed interest in President Obama’s acceptance speech. One point ahead of President Obama on the interest scale is former President Bill Clinton, who looks like the most anticipated speaker at either convention. Fifty two percent of respondents said they are interested in Bill Clinton’s speech.
Clinton and Obama are in a virtual statistical tie in terms of interest, but the former president blows Mitt Romney out of the water in terms of interest. This finding highlights both the lack of interest in Romney, and the awesome drawing power of Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton will focus a majority of interested eyes and ears on the Democratic message next Wednesday. His speech might be the most important of either convention. When Bill Clinton steps on to the stage in Charlotte and endorses Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, it will have an impact with voters.
The Republicans don’t have anyone speaking at their convention who possesses the kind of credibility on the economy that Bill Clinton has. Whatever the Republicans argue this week, Bill Clinton will knock it down next Wednesday. The problem for Mitt Romney is that most Americans will side with the persuasive and powerful ex-president.
The big question for the Republican Party is, if a candidate gets an image makeover in the forest, and a majority of people don’t care enough to watch it, does it matter?
Even more importantly, what’s going to be left of Mitt Romney after Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are done with him?
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association