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Blue Mitten Survey: Clinton Speech Rallies Democrats

In a Blue Mitten survey of influential Michigan Democrats, most respondents felt more optimistic about Barack Obama's chances of winning in Michigan in the presidential election.

Blue Mitten Survey: Clinton Speech Rallies Democrats

Democratic insiders feel more optimistic about President Barack Obama’s chances of winning Michigan in November's presidential election: that’s the finding of this week’s Blue Mitten survey of influential Democrats.

Thirty-one Democrats from the southeastern Michigan area were asked, using an automated survey tool, their opinions about the presidential election following the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Twenty-three responses were collected.

Twenty-one influencers said they were more confident about Obama’s chances of winning Michigan then they were before the conventions. Two said their opinions had not changed since the conventions.

But it may have been a former president who stole the show last week in Charlotte, NC.

Eleven people mentioned former President Bill Clinton’s speech as the top highlight of the Democratic National Convention.

“Bill Clinton’s speech,” one respondent said, punctuating the ending with three exclamation points. “Without a doubt, he made a spectacular case for voting for President Obama—Bill is a master at stating a point!!”

Two people also said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s speech was the highlight.

“Loved Governor Granholm's stirring defense of the auto industry—and the many references throughout the convention to the President's role in rescuing out domestic automakers and their extended enterprise,” one respondent said.

Ten Democratic insiders stated platform issues as the party’s biggest misstep at the convention. The platform was changed during the convention to include a mention of God and call Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

“In an effort to demonstrate the inclusive nature of the Democratic Party, there were missteps in adopting the platform,” one respondent said. “However, the Democratic platform remains far closer to the center than the suddenly-radical GOP platform adopted at their convention.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Democratic insiders did not offer too many positive assessments of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

But those who did pointed to the speech given by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and GOP efforts to “try to lure women and the minority vote.”

Five insiders said the Republicans biggest misstep at their convention was the speech by Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood.

Other results of the survey:

  • Seventeen respondents said they “strongly agree” that Obama showed the American people clear differences between him and Republican challenger Mitt Romney; four said they “agree”; and two said they had no opinion.
  • Seventeen influencers said they “strongly agree” that the Democratic convention provided the party with the momentum it needs to get the base to turn out for what is expected to be a close election; five said they “agree”; and one said they had no opinion.
  • Thirteen respondents said they believed the Republican and Democratic conventions would have “somewhat of an effect” on the election; five said it would have “not much of an effect”;  three said it would have a “significant effect”; and one left the question blank.

The Blue Mitten Survey

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Michigan. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12, 2012.

Patch will be conducting Red Mitten and Blue Mitten surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in Michigan. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Associate Regional Editor John Hetzler at john.hetzler@patch.com.

Blue Mitten roster: Vicki Barnett, State House Rep; Joanne Braund, Secretary, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Rose Christoph; Dorian Coston, candidate for State Rep; Colleen Crossey, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Gary Cynowa, President of the North Macomb Democratic Club and District 10 Precinct Delegate; Susan Czarnecki; Judy Daubenmier, chair of Livingston County Democrats; Shawn Desai, Democratic Candidate for State Representative 47th District; Gretchen Driskell, Mayor of Saline; Gene Farber, West Bloomfield Township Board Trustee; Marcia Gershenson, Oakland County commissioner; Fred Hoffman; Mitzi Hoffman, former Chair, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Marilyn Krok, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Kathi Kuehnel, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Carmella Langley, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Erik Lindquist; Deb Lobring; Jeff Long; Daniel Marcin, former candidate for U.S. Representative; Gwen Markham, candidate for Oakland County commissioner; Richard Miller, president of the Wyandotte Democratic Club; Jim Nash, Oakland County commissioner; Kevin Shopshire, member of Livingston County Democrats; Mike Smith, candidate for White Lake Township Supervisor; Walt Sobczak, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Mark Steckloff; Regina Strong, former candidate for State Rep; Scott Warheit, Royal Oak Crime Prevention Council, and 2011 candidate for Royal Oak City Comission; Karen Zyczynski, Oakland County Democratic Delegate

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