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Snap Poll: Republican, Democratic Political Influencers React to Romney VP Choice

Over the weekend, Patch polled several prominent local Republicans and Democrats in a Patch survey about their thoughts on Gov. Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as a vice president selection.


Rhode Island Republican political influencers strongly agree that Gov. Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his choice for vice president will help galvanize the state republicans. However state Republicans are split on whether his choice will help win over undecided voters, according to a Patch snap poll conducted over the weekend.

Meanwhile, a majority of Democrats surveyed on the same topic over the weekend feel Romney's choice of the Wisconsin congressman for vice president will help galvanize the Democratic party in the state and help win the votes of senior citizens.

Patch sent survey questions to 52 Republicans and 52 Democratic party activists and elected officials within 48 hours of Romney's announcement. Twelve Republicans and six Democrats responded.  

Republicans: Undecided Voters in Question

Seventy-five percent of the Republicans who responded "strongly agree" that Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate will bring together state GOP members. Only 25-percent "somewhat agree" that Ryan will be a help to the ticket in the Ocean State.

However, when it was asked if Ryan will help win over undecided voters in Rhode Island, only 41.7 percent "agreed strongly" while 25 percent "somewhat agreed." Nearly 17 percent said they "somewhat disagree," while 8 percent "strongly disagree." The remaining said they were neutral. 

When asked if Ryan will help with undecided voters in Wisconsin, 66.7 percent "strongly agree" it would, while only 33.3 percent "somewhat agree."

When asked about the number-one GOP advantage of having Ryan on the ticket, most respondents to our survey credited the representative for his "intelligence" and "policy smarts." One respondent described Ryan as "an honest and fiscal conservative who understands what our country must do to avoid becoming another Spain, France or worse."

Another respondent said that Ryan "more clearly defines the choice for voters in November — bigger government or solid solutions to fix the economy and create jobs."

Democrats: Romney Pick Could Help with Senior Vote

During our survey over the weekend, 66.7 percent of the Democrats who responded "strongly agree" that Romney's pick of Paul Ryan will actually help galvanize Rhode island Democrats, while only 16.7 percent "somewhat agree" and another 16.7 percent "strongly disagree." 

We asked Democrats if Romney's decision to choose Ryan will help the Obama-Biden campaign win the votes of senior citizens in Rhode Island? Nearly 67 percent "strongly agreed" that it would, while only 16.7 percent "somewhat agree" and another 16.7 percent "strongly disagree." 

We also asked Rhode Island Democrats if they agreed that with Ryan on the ticket, Democrats can win by running against Ryan's existing budget plans, particulary his proposal for Medicare. Only 33.3 percent "strongly agreed" that they could win. Fifty percent only "somewhat agreed" with the statement. The remaining 17.7 percent "somewhat disagreed."

When we asked Democrats what was the number-one advantage for the Obama-Biden campaign of having Paul Ryan on the GOP ticket, the responses varied. One respondent wrote that Ryan was a "polarizing figure." Another wrote that "millions of baby-boomers will vote against the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan." Another Democrat replied that "Ryan is largely unknown to the public."

Patch's Red and Blue Rhody Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of a larger population, but an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Rhode Island. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this weekend's questions. Surveys were conducted between Aug. 11 and 13.

Patch will be conducting Red Rhody and Blue Rhody surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Rhode Island. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that last just a few minutes, email Rick.Couto@patch.com.

Blue Rhody Survey Roster: Frank Hyde, Ted Jendzejec, Scott Guthrie, Gary Cote, Jared Nunes, Patricia Serpa, Kathy Patenaude, Lisa Tomasso, June Speakman, Joy Hearn, Anthony Arico, Mary Gasbarro, Jeffrey Breener, James Sheehan, Raymond Gallison, Louis Dipalma, John Edwards, Michael Sepe, John Lanni, Richard Santamaria, Joseph DeLorenzo, Judi Liner, Candy Seel, Bruce Rogers, Robert DaSilva, Joseph Polisena Frank Lombardo, Jennifer Russo, Carol Costa, Arnie Vecchione, Charles Tsonas, Vimala Phongsavanh, Gregg Amore, Joel Monteiro, Michael Morin, David Barboza, Catherine Tattrie, Kenneth Marshall, Antonio Teixeira, Raymond Gallison, Jan Malik, Marc Dubois, Mark Schwager, Carolyn Mark, Deidre Gifford, Tom Plunkett, Eugene Quinn, Chrissy Rossi, Bud Cicilline, Caroline Stouffer, Lou Raptakis, Stephen Ucci

Red Rhody Survey Roster: Glenford Shibley, Nicholas Kettle, Carl Mattson, Keith Anderson, Patricia Morgan, John Robitaille, Christopher Ottiano, Jonathan Harris, Steve Primiano, Bill DeWitt, Geoff Grove, Scott Fuller, David Bates, Carol Hueston, Jim McGuire, Mark Zaccaria, Joel Johnson, Doreen Costa, Elizabeth Dolan, Robert Carlin, Ronald Warr Jr., Jack Savage, John Ward, Dan Gendron, Halsey Herreshoff, Chris Stanley, Mark Smiley, Marina Peterson, Bryan Palumbo, Joseph Golembeski, Joe Procaccini, Blake Filippi, Eileen Grossman, Mike Stenhouse, Joseph Trillo, Gail Ricky, Dawson Hodgson, Chuck Newton, Michael Isaacs, Jeff Cianciolo, Carl Hoyer, Ted Czech, Joanne Mower, Luisa Abatecola, David Sullivan, Clark Smith, Liz Smith, Mark Gee, Brad Bishop, Peter Costa Jr., Bruce Saccoccio, Mike Chippendale

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