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Illinois Republicans Energized but Questioning Foreign Policy After Convention

In the latest Land of Lincoln Red survey issued by Patch, Republican respondents shared their opinions on the presidential election following the Republican National Convention.

Citing speeches by Sen. Marco Rubio, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and celebrity Clint Eastwood, 94 percent of Republicans surveyed by Patch said their party's National Convention provided the party with the momentum it needs to get the base to turn out for what is expected to be a close election.

That's part of the results from a recent Land of Lincoln survey issued by Patch in the Chicago area. Ninety-three Republicans were surveyed, with 30 responding. 

Most Republican respondents mentioned the Rubio and Ryan speeches as highlights of the convention, while one respondent said "Mitt Romney just did OK." 

According to Republican respondents, 53 percent said they felt more confident about Romney's chances of winning after the convention, while 43 said their confidence had not changed. Although only a few Republicans mentioned Romney as a highlight of the convention, everyone said they felt he made a strong case for why he should be president (though a majority said they didn't feel strongly about that). 

The convention featured "speakers that articulated what the party stands for in contrast with the Democrats," one Republican said. "Romney did a decent job defining himself but I knew he couldn't get too specific because Obama would just turn it around on him a week later."

A perceived lack of specific plans was something many respondents touched on, most notably involving the absence of foreign policy in Romney's speech.

"Even a line or two would have been OK, but it was a bad omission," one Republican said. "They didn't talk about how they would make our lives better," another said. 

However, 80 percent of respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed that Romney provided specifics on his goals and how he would achieve them. About 13 percent said they disagreed, and 7 percent said they had no opinion. 

Republicans didn't have many good things to say about the Democratic National Convention, though many said President Bill Clinton "still has the magic." Respondents said his speech, along with others, did a good job to fire up voters on the left. But one Republican said the show put on by Clinton could remind voters that Obama isn't Clinton. 

"Bill Clinton was electric," one Republican said. "So good that it may remind people how bad President Obama's four years have been. People liked Bill Clinton as president, but he is not seen as trustworthy by independents and he overshadowed Obama in a huge way."

Commenting on missteps at the Democratic National Convention, most Republicans mentioned Democrats' failure to include mentions to God or Jerusalem in the original platform, only to go back on that later in an awkward voice vote. 

Check back tomorrow for Democrats' response to the Land of Lincoln survey.

WHO PARTICIPATED

Patch editors throughout the Chicago suburbs enlisted local people involved with politics to take our Land of Lincoln surveys. Go to the links below to see a full roster of those involved. Want to take our next survey? Email associate regional editor Michael Sewall at michael.sewall@patch.com

  • Land of Lincoln Blue Roster
  • Land of Lincoln Red Roster

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