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Who’s Watching the Conventions?

This week, Mitt Romney will deliver the most momentous speech of his career so far, but America may not be paying much attention, according to the latest Rasmussen poll. Just 27 percent of respondents said they expect to watch “all” or “most” of the convention, and another 24 percent don’t plan on watching any of it (via HotAir):

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of Likely Voters plan to watch all of the GOP convention and another 16% who will watch most. A plurality (44%) expects to watch some of it, and 24% more won’t watch any of the GOP convention held in Tampa, Florida. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, only 13% who intend to watch all of the September 4-6 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Another 14% who will watch most of it. Thirty-nine percent (39%) will watch just some of the Democratic convention, and 30% plan to ignore it.

That may not sound all that bad, until you realize it’s among likely voters — the ones who are most engaged in the political process. The numbers are sure to be lower among registered voters and the public at large.

The more viewers the better for Romney, who still has work to do defining himself with swing voters. Michael Warren reports on the general sentiment of uncommitted voters from a Frank Luntz focus group in Tampa:

Sentiment toward Romney, however, is cautiously ambivalent. The swing voters want to know more about his plans for the economy. They want to know if they can trust him. They want to see if he can prove he understands their lives. They want to see records of his tax returns—not, they insist, because they believe he has done anything illegal. “The IRS would have already caught him by now,” says a man in the back.

In true Luntz form, an uncomplicated question elicits perhaps the most profound answer on how these swing voters view Romney, just days before he plans to accept the Republican nomination for president. Luntz asks each individual for a word or phrase to describe their opinion of Romney.

After thinking for a moment when it comes to his turn, one man nods his head as he answers. “Question mark,” he says.

That question mark is what Romney needs to clear up in Tampa — if voters are paying attention, that is.