The public's reaction to last week's Republican National Convention was lukewarm at best, while Mitt Romney's Thursday night speech received even less favorable reviews, new research released Monday by Gallup shows.
According to Gallup, a roughly equal percentage of American adults say that the GOP convention made them less likely (38 percent) to vote for Romney as those who say it made them more likely (40 percent) to support the Republican ticket. Twenty-two percent of adults reacted indifferently to the convention. The split is comparable among independents, 36 percent of whom say they are more likely to vote for Romney in the wake of his party's convention, compared with 33 percent who say they are less likely.
Romney's acceptance address received a weak grade relative to previous convention speeches. Only 38 percent of adults rated the Republican nominee's speech either good or excellent — the lowest rating given to such an address dating back to Bob Dole's speech at the 1996 Republican National Convention, when Gallup first started testing presidential acceptance speeches.
For a point of reference, the 2008 presidential candidates earned much better reviews for their own convention speeches. Forty-seven percent rated Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) acceptance address four years ago either good or excellent, while 58 percent gave the same assessment of President Barack Obama's speech a the 2008 Democratic National Convention.