Romney Not Winning Over Ron Paul Supporters, GOP Influentials Say
Patch's new Red Granite poll shows Tea Party members are a different story.
Mitt Romney may have won over New Hampshire Tea Party members, but the jury's still out on whether he can bring over disaffected Ron Paul supporters, according to this week's Red Granite survey of influential conservatives.
In all, 103 Republicans from New Hampshire were asked using an automated survey tool whether they think Romney – who is visiting the state today – has gained the support of Ron Paul backers in New Hampshire.
Fifty responses were collected.
Only 44 percent of those surveyed agreed that Romney has to some degree wrapped up the Paul supporters. Thirty-six percent said they somewhat agree, and 8 percent completely agreed. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they somewhat disagree, 12 completely disagree, and 16 percent are neutral.
Several people responding to the survey suggested that Romney needs to work harder to win over Paul supporters.
"Pick a Ron Paul favorite as VP, and promise an administration spot to Ron Paul or his choice," said one.
"Pick Ron Paul as VP," said another.
Even after Romney's overwhelming win in the New Hampshire Primary, many Tea Party members here said they wouldn't vote for him. But it appears that sentiment may be changing somewhat now that Romney is set to become the Republican nominee.
In all, 74 percent of the survey respondents said they agree to some degree that Romney has won over New Hampshire Tea Party members. Fifty-eight percent said they somewhat agree, while 16 percent said they agree completely. Fourteen percent said they somewhat disagree, while 12 percent remain neutral.
One respondent did say that Romney needs to "embrace the Tea Party" and stop criticizing Sarah Palin.
Almost 90 percent of those surveyed responded in the affirmative when asked if they consider New Hampshire a must-win state for Romney. Forty-four percent said they somewhat agree, and 42 percent completely agreed. Six percent somewhat disagreed, 2 percent completely disagreed, and 4 percent remained neutral.
We also asked our Republican influentials what they think Romney needs to do in order to win the election, and received some interesting responses.
"Be consistently conservative," said one.
Another had a similar message, but was a more blunt – "Become a Republican."
One respondent took a dig at Romney's scheduled mid-day ice cream social in Milford on Friday, saying he shouldn't have ice cream socials on a Friday afternoon "while the real voters are at work."
Yet another urged Romney to show off his human side. "Be one of us. Water ski on Winnipesaukee. Let's see more group family stuff."
The Red Granite 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 Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in New Hampshire. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between June 11 and June 14, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Granite and Blue Granite surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of Republicans and Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Marc Fortier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Granite Roster: Zac Johnson (Technical writer), Mauri Foster (Retired), Marie Lopez-Reyes (Small business owner), Eduardo Lopez-Reyes (Republican Liberty Caucus, National Vice Chair), Harry McClard (Freelance writer), Pam Tucker (Deputy House Speaker), Gary Ellmer (Chairman, Portsmouth Republican Committee), John Lyons (Lawyer), Rick Paige (Loan officer), Chris Buck (Republican activist), Jerry Delemus (Republican activist), Tasha Olsen (Republican activist) Jim Waddell (State Rep), Russell Bridle (State Rep), Alan Williams (North Hampton resident, former Exeter Selectman), Amy Perkins (State Rep), Lawrence Perkins (State Rep), Diane Bitter (Republican activist), Michele Peckham (State Rep), Fred Rice (State Rep), David Hurst (NH Young Republicans Chairman), Sheila Francoeur (Seacoast Republican Women member), Brandon Stauber (Small business owner), Frank Ferraro (Exeter Selectman), Matt Quandt (State Rep/Exeter Selectman), Julie DiCarlo (Small business owner), Ron DiCarlo (Small business owner), Lee Quandt (State Rep), Tim Copeland (State Rep), Steve Brennan (Business owner), Brian Griset (Member of local political committee), Dan St. Hilaire (Executive Councilor/Concord City Councilor), Kris MacNeil (Former State Senate candidate), Robert Washburn (Former Concord City Councilor), Stephen Ludwick (Chairman, Supervisors of the Checklist, Concord Ward 9), Chris Tremblay (Republican activist), Laura Foote (Republican activist), Tom Rath (Consultant), Shari Demers (Republican activist), Jamie Burnett (Consultant), Bill Boyd (Merrimack Town Councilor), Chris Christiansen (State Rep), William Smith (Conservative blogger), Maureen Mooney (Former State Rep), Dick Hinch (State Rep), Chris Buda (Merrimack GOP Chairman), Juanita Dangel (Hillsborough County GOP Secretary), Gary Krupp (Merrimack School Budget Committee), Lenette Peterson (State Rep), Kathy Stroud (State Rep), George Markwell (Merrimack School Board member), D.J. Bettencourt (Former House Majority Leader), Ed Brooks (Former ME Selectman, Town Councilor), Ed Declercq (Salem Planning Board Member), Bob Elliott (State Rep), Bianca Garcia (Former Salem GOP Victory office manager), David Garcia (Salem Town GOP Chair), Pat Hargreaves (Salem Selectman), Jeff Hatch (Salem Romney Town Chair), Tom Linehan (Republican activist), Patrick McDougall (Salem Budget Committee member), Keith Murphy (State Rep), Andrew Manuse (State Rep), Joel Maiola (Former Judd Gregg Chief of Staff), Ken Hawkins (State Rep), Jim Costello (Teacher), Eric Anderson (Former State Rep), John Cebrow (State Rep), Jim Rubens (Former State Senator), Raymond White (State Senator), John Graham (State Rep), Kathy Benuck (BCTV host/blogger), Mark Vincent (Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Peter Hansen (State Rep), Ken Jones (Amherst Republicans member), Bill Modis (Vice Chairman of Amherst Republicans), Steve Landry (Small business owner), Tony Zore (Tea Party member), Lisa Hansen (Romney supporter), Gary Daniels (State Rep), Tom Walker (Conservative Republican), Jennifer Horn (Republican activist), Jim Luther (State Senator), Michael Gallagher (Nashua Republican City Committee), Mark Cookson (Nashua Alderman-at-large), J. Christopher Williams (Nashua Chamber of Commerce President), Pete Silva (House Majority Leader), Bob Duffy (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Di Lothrop (Nashua Republican City Committee member), Kathryn Peterson (Community activist), Pam Price (Former State Rep), David Bates (State Rep), Charles McMahon (State Rep), Kevin Waterhouse (State Rep), Bruce Breton (Windham Selectman), Travis Blais (Windham GOP Chairman), Phil LoChiatto (Windham Selectman), Margaret Crisler (Windham GOP member), Gary Azarian (State Rep), Donna Mauro (State Rep), Rich Okerman (State Rep), Kevin Avard (State Rep), David Murotake (State Rep candidate).