Romney's Speech Gets Low Marks From Voters

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 3 2012 3:01 PM

Romney's RNC Speech Receives Low Marks From Americans

151022515
A couple watches on a giant screen the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivering his acceptance speech at the Tampa Bay Times Forum

Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/GettyImages.

The scores are in for Mitt Romney's RNC speech last week. In short, they don't look so good for the GOP nominee.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Romney's prime-time remarks received positive marks from just 38 percent of respondents in a new Gallup survey, the lowest total of any major party's presidential candidate since the polling outfit began asking the question back after the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Advertisement

Here were Romney's marks: 20 percent rated the speech "excellent," 18 percent called it "good," 21 percent went the "just okay" route, 6 percent called it "poor," and 10 percent said it was "terrible." The remaining 26 percent either hadn't seen it or had no opinion.

For comparison, John McCain received positive marks from 47 percent of respondents back in 2008. Then-Sen. Barack Obama, meanwhile, cleaned up with "excellent" or "good" marks from 58 percent of those polled, the highest total of the eight speeches surveyed by Gallup.

Gallup's numbers include only five Republican speeches, so we're obviously dealing with a pretty small sample size here. Still, it may be worth pointing out that Republicans have seen fewer and fewer positive marks since the surveys began.

  • Bob Dole in 1996: 52 percent positive (excellent/good); 7 percent negative (poor/terrible).
  • George W. Bush in 2000: 51 percent positive; 4 percent negative.
  • George W. Bush in 2004: 49 percent positive; 8 percent negative.
  • John McCain in 2008: 47 percent positive; 12 percent negative.
  • Mitt Romney in 2012: 38 percent positive; 16 percent negative.

And, fwiw, the Democrats' positive marks have climbed (although we're dealing with an even smaller sample):

  • Al Gore in 2000: 51 percent positive; 6 percent negative.
  • John Kerry in 2004: 52 percent positive; 9 percent negative.
  • Barack Obama in 2008: 58 percent positive; 7 percent negative.

Gallup also shows Romney with the smallest post-convention bounce in recent political history. Forty percent of those polled said they'd be more likely to vote GOP after last week's GOP convention, compared to 38 percent who said they'd be less likely. That 2-percent gain was one of only three among a list going back to 1984 with net gains in the single digits. The other two single-digit bounces: the 2008 (plus-5) and 2004 (plus-3) RNCs. Of course, George W. Bush still went on to win reelection in 2004, so a lackluster convention doesn't necessarily translate to a November loss.

(Note: The Gallup post-convention bounce archives do not include polls for the 1992 or 1984 GOP conventions.)

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?