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Post-RNC FL poll # 2: Convention watchers (mostly GOP) loved Romney, Rubio, Clint speeches

While Public Policy Polling showed the Republican National Convention wasn't much help to Republican Mitt Romney in Florida, polling firm Survey USA conducted a survey for St. Petersburg's WFLA-TV that showed the RNC was effective -- for those who watched it.

A big difference between the polls: The Survey USA poll isn't a general or likely voter poll. It sampled far more Republicans than Democrats (who outnumber Republicans in Florida) because it gauged convention watchers. And most convention-watchers were Republicans.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of all of this is that it shows how close-minded partisans have become. They flock to hear their side arm them with talking points and they eschew the other side.

Still, the poll has value, especially regarding independents (although, again, conservative-leaning independents might have been more likely to watch and vote GOP anyway). A clear majority of Independents found that Romney and Rubio's speech helped in relatively equal measures. But Clint Eastwood's odd and rambling speech wasn't as well received, with only 41 percent saying the Eastwood address helped Romney and 24 percent saying it hurt. Put another way, that's a 23 percent negative shift away from Romney when compared to the helped/hurt numbers for those who rated Rubio's speech.

From SurveyUSA:

Two-thirds of those who watched Thursday night’s speeches at the Republican National Convention already had decided who they would vote for before anyone opened their mouth, but among the small but important group of persuadable speech watchers, there is 2:1 movement towards Romney, according to a SurveyUSA poll of the state of Florida conducted for WFLA-TV in Tampa.

1,211 adults were interviewed statewide 08/31/12, after Romney, Florida’s Marco Rubio and Clint Eastwood spoke to the convention 08/30/12. Of the adults, 1,100 were registered to vote in Florida. Of the registered voters, 754 heard the convention speeches. Of the convention speech watchers:

66% did not change their mind.
16% switched from “undecided” to Romney.
6% switched from Obama to Romney.
Adding those 2 together, that’s 22% who switched TO Romney.
10% switched from “undecided” to Obama.
2% switched from Romney to Obama.
Adding those 2 together, that’s 12% who switched TO Obama.
Comparing the 2 aggregate numbers: 22% switched TO Romney, 12% switched TO Obama.

Caution: As expected, those who watched the speeches at the Republican National Convention were disproportionately Republican. This poll does not attempt to measure how all likely voters in the state of Florida would vote if filling out a ballot today. It attempts to measure early movement among speech-watchers only.

Reaction to individual speeches broke along party lines:

79% of Republicans, compared to 35% of Democrats, said Romney’s speech helped his chances to be elected.
12% of Republicans, compared to 45% of Democrats, said Eastwood’s speech hurt Romney’s changes to be elected.