My brother was asked to participate in a focus group researching responses to Romney's RNC acceptance speech. My brother is a registered Republican, self-described apathetic/apolitical who voted for Obama in 2008. He lives in Virginia. He's white and in his late forties. I can see why the Romney campaign is interested in what he thinks.
The pre-screen interview asked him who he voted for in 2008 and also his current stance toward 2012. Bro's answer was undecided but leaning Obama. My brother described the others in the group as mostly between 40-65, mostly white, even numbers by gender. He said that people seemed to have similar views as himself, had registered and/or voted republican before but picked Obama in 2008.
They were given dials for the speech (0 hate it, 100 love it). Bro said his dial never got above 12 the whole time. He added that there were several times that you could hear a lot of dials in the room "slam to the left"! He knows they were slamming to the left (0) because there was a very lively discussion in the parking lot afterwards among a number of participants and many had noticed the same thing and were slamming left themselves.
The focus group was put on by Harvest Research out of Iowa. They did not say that they were hired by the Romney campaign. However, bro said that it was evident to everyone in the room that it was for Romney. He had a hard time describing why. But the follow up discussion/questions after the speech seemed to center on "what would it take for you to vote for Romney". Bro says that the group was largely negative on Romney and the speech. The word 'pandering' came up a lot in the discussion.
Hope this is interesting to some...
9:50 AM PT: I'm thrilled that this diary has generated so much excitement. BUT - and we all know this - we should take as an energizing shot in the arm and no more. We all still have to work very hard in the swing states and our own communities to deliver the vote for Obama and the down ticket dems.