Influential Iowa Democrats are either projecting optimism or they are really, really confident following the national conventions for their party and Republicans, according to Patch's latest Blue Iowa survey.
Speeches by former President Bill Clinton, Wisconsin congressman and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, and Michelle Obama also caught their attention.
When asked if the Democratic National Convention did a good job of defining President Barack Obama in a way that will help him win the November election, 76 percent of respondents strongly agreed, while the other 24 percent were a bit less confident, but still somewhat agreed.
The 31 Democrats responding to this Blue Iowa survey are a mix of current and former office holders, party leaders, candidates and activists. The survey was inspired by academic research showing that endorsements by party "actors" at all levels — officeholders, party officials and local activists — are a critical leading indicator of primary presidential elections.
Blue Iowa looks at the mood of influential Democrats as campaigning for the general election approaches. Those who agree to take part in the survey are noted below, but individual answers are kept confidential.
Patch also runs Red Iowa, our survey of influential state Republicans. Our most recent Red Iowa survey asked Iowa Republicans for their takes on the conventions.
Red Iowa Survey: RNC a Success But Could Have Better Defined Romney and Appealed to Middle Class
The participants in the latest Blue Iowa survey were most confident about how effective the DNC was at firing up voters in a way that will get them to the polls for Obama. Eighty-five percent said they strongly agree, while another 15 percent somewhat agreed.
The survey respondents were particularly, if expectedly, down on the Republican National Convention. For example, 90 percent of respondents felt strongly or somewhat that the RNC did not do a good job defining GOP nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a way that will help him win the presidency. Ten percent somewhat agreed that the RNC succeeded on this front.
Iowa Democrats gave some credit to their rivals. More than half of respondents - 51 percent - somewhat agreed that the RNC fired up voters for Romney.
"I think the Dems revved up the people, but the Reps revved up the money by playing to those interests," one respondent wrote. "I am not sure which wins elections anymore, unfortunately."
National polls suggest that Obama came out of the convention with a bounce, while Romney didn't fall, but didn't get a bump. A New York Times blog analysis shows Romney getting a short spike, while Obama got an extended bump.
The Iowa respondents keyed in on some of the conventions' headline speeches - none of which were the marquee attractions - Obama or Romney.
"Neither convention was particularly exciting," one Iowa Democrat wrote. "The difference comes down to two speeches: Paul Ryan vs. Bill Clinton. The story after Ryan's was how far he stretched the truth and that gave a negative overall feel to the convention. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton gave a well-received speech that gave a positive feel to the DNC. And that's the problem with the conventions: neither candidate was the story of the conventions."
If you'd like to take part in either survey, contact Iowa Regional Editor Todd Richissin at email@example.com.
Jan Bauer, Abishek Vemuri, Beth Wessel Krochell, Wayne Clinton, Tom Beell, Jim Gaunt, Ethan Fredricke, Don Zuck, Bob Kressig, Jeff Danielson, Pat Sass, Don Page, Pam Gross, Tavis Hall, Sally Browne, Roger White, Terry Dahms, Sarah Swisher, Katherine Valde, Mike Carbrerry, Caroline Dieterle, Scott Syroka, Virginia Soelberg, Marcia Nichols, Judy Anderson, Tom Leffler, Bill Unger, Pat Walters, Mari Hall, George Lake, Seth Moomey, Amber Mussman, Cody Crawford, Jan McCool, Mary Polson, Dan Cataldi, Kris Winters, Mike Newell, Rick Smith, Carl Johnson, Gail Kotoval, David Leonard, Julie Zeisman, Eric Brenneman, Sue Ellen Kennedy, Joe Shanahan, Laurie Belin, Saundra Ragona, Kathi Phillips, Karen Moriarity.