In the race for President of the United States, influential Rhode Island political insiders have weighed in regarding who has run the better "ground game" in Rhode Island leading up to the election. According to our results, Democratic influencers felt Obama has run a better ground campaign by a wide margin while a majority of Republican influencers surveyed said the ground campaign up to this point has been even.
Patch surveyed 53 Republicans and 51 Democrats, asking regardless of their partisan preference, which presidential campaign do you think has run the better "ground game" campaign during the general election in Rhode Island? Among those who responded, 55.6% of Democrats said Barack Obama has run the better ground campaign by a wide margin. Another 22.2% said Obama won the ground campaign by a slim margin. However 11.1% of the Democrats surveyed felt Mitt Romney had a better ground campaign in Rhode Island, while another 11.1% said both were even.
In our next survey question we asked our political influencers whom they thought ran the better advertising campaign across all media during the general election in Rhode Island. Among the Republican respondents, 53.3% said they were neutral on this question, feeling both candidates were even when it came to the media campaign in the state. Twenty-percent felt that Mitt Romney had the better media campaign by a wide margin. Another 13.3% felt Romney had the better media campaign by a slim margin, while another 13.3% felt Barack Obama had the better media campaign by a slim margin.
When we asked our Democratic influencers this same question, 44.4% felt the President has run a better media campaign in the Ocean State by a wide margin. Another 22.2% felt Obama had run a better media campaign by only a slim margin. Meanwhile another 22.2% felt Mitt Romney had a better media campaign by a slim margin. Eleven-point-one-percent felt it was even between the two candidates.
Electoral Votes: What's More Important
In our third question we asked our Republican influencers when it comes to winning Rhode Island's electoral votes, what will be more important: convincing "swing voters", "undecideds", "independents" to vote for Mitt Romney or turning out the GOP base. Overwhelmingly 85.7% said that convincing the swing voters, undecideds and independents was more important to winning Rhode Island's electoral votes. However 14.3% said it was turning out the GOP base that was more important.
When we asked this question to Democrats concerning Barack Obama and turning out the Democratic base, the response was completely opposite from the Republicans. Seventy-seven-point-eight-percent thought turning out the Democratic base was most important to winning electoral votes in Rhode Island, while 22.2% thought that convincing swing voters, undecideds and independents was most important.
In our fourth question, we asked our political influencers what effect, if any, will the David Cicilline/Brendan Doherty race have on the presidential race in Rhode Island? Both parties in the majority said it will have no effect on the race. Fifty-three-point-three-percent of the Republicans said it will have no effect, while 66.7% of the Democrats said it will have no effect on the race. Forty-percent of Republicans felt the race would have a modest increase in votes for Romney, while only 6.7% of Republicans said it would have a big increase for Romney.
Twenty-two-point-two-percent of Democrats felt the Cicilline/Doherty race would have a modest increase for votes for Obama. Another 11.1% felt in would have a modest increase for votes for Romney.
In our fifth question, we reversed the previous question asking our Red Rhody and Blue Rhody political influencers what effect, if any, do you think the presidential race will have on the David Cicilline/Brendan Doherty race? Republicans appeared to be split on this question. Thirty-three-point-three-percent felt it would have no effect on the presidential race. However 26.7% felt it would have a modest increase in votes for Brendan Doherty, while another 26.7% felt in would have a modest increase in votes for David Cicilline. Only 6.7% felt in would have a big increase in votes for Brendan Doherty and another 6.7% felt it would have a big increase in votes for David Cicilline.
Democrats were not as divided on this question as the Republicans. Fifty-five-point-six-percent felt the presidential race would have a modest increase in votes for David Cicilline. Twenty-two-point-two-percent felt the race would have a big increase in votes for Cicilline, while another 22.2% said it would have no effect on the Cicilline/Doherty race.
When we asked our political influencers what other downballot races they thought would effect the presidential race in Rhode Island several responses on each side came up with the same answer. Both parties agreed that the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Barry Hinckley would have an effect on the presidential race in the Ocean State. One Democratic political influencer also cited the U.S. Congress District 2 race between Democratic incumbent James Langevin and Republican challenger Michael Riley.
We wrapped up our survey by asking each of our Red Rhody and Blue Rhody political influencers to add their thoughts about Tuesday's election. On the Republican side the responses were quite diverse. One political influencer predicted Romney would win by a large margin while another responded by saying Rhode Island would elect Barack Obama regardless of any other factors. Another Republican response stated that both presidential campaigns conceded Rhode Island to concentrate on battle ground states.
The Democratic responses were much more singular. A majority of the responses predicted a victory for the President, both in Rhode Island and overall. Another response felt that there was too much money being spent on the presidential race and something needed to be done about that. One Democratic response cited the disappointment in the tactics used by the Romney campaign.
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 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 particular survey.
If you are an activist, party leader or elected official, and would like to take part in our surveys that last just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Rick Couto at email@example.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.