Snap poll: Romney's favorable rating rises five points overnight, Christie's speech most popular

Alternate headline: “So far, so good.”

I assume most of this is due to Ann, whose speech dwelled entirely on Mitt, versus Christie, who didn’t mention him until 16 minutes in. But even so, this is interesting:

Romney had a 43-percent favorable and 44-percent unfavorable rating in nine battleground states heading into the convention, according to an average compiled by Real Clear Politics.

A survey conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research in nine battle ground states Tuesday evening found Romney’s favorable rating among likely voters had jumped to 48 percent. His unfavorable rating dipped to 39…

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s speech had the biggest impact of the convention so far, more than twice as popular as Ann Romney’s remarks on Tuesday, according to the poll.

Twelve percent of respondents rated Christie’s speech as their favorite, compared to five percent who favored Romney’s…

The good news is it’s a sample of likely voters. The bad news is that the sample’s small, just 303 people. Any news that Romney’s favorables might be improving after months of Obama attacks is worth blogging, but there’s really no way to tell from this whether he’ll get a meaningful bounce. Consider it a “good sign” and a further reason to watch Ryan tonight. My hunch is that if there’s any speech that’s likely to significantly help the ticket, it’s his, not Mitt’s tomorrow.

As for Christie’s speech, Politico claims people “close to Romney” are grumbling that it was a bust because it was more about him that it was about either Mitt or Obama. (Never mind that Romney’s team vetted the speech weeks ago.) If you’re going to get the big guy for your keynote, you want him in full tough-guy mode, throwing roundhouses, no? Actually, maybe not. Jay Cost makes the case:

One theme that connects the political victories of Barack Obama in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000, Bill Clinton in 1992, Ronald Reagan in 1980, Jimmy Carter in 1976, and all the way back to Thomas Jefferson in 1800 is a simple, powerful message: The other side has failed America, but we can do better.

If you look at the polling data, you can see pretty clearly that a Republican convention that focuses on the failures of Barack Obama would be tantamount to beating a dead horse…

The middle of the country is deeply disappointed in the job this president has done, and that has been the case basically for three years. What is left for the GOP ticket to do is to make the positive case for change. That is what we began to see last night.

It would be the height of political malpractice to fall into the false dichotomy the Democrats have been preaching – a “choice” versus a “referendum.” Every election is in fact both.

Fair point. After three and a half years, Obama’s negatives are essentially baked in the cake. All the GOP can do now is explain why they’d be better, which is why Ryan’s speech is the moment of truth. And in further defense of Christie, our media being as loathsome as it is, he would have been destroyed last night for gleefully pummeling Obama while Isaac is raging even though Obama’s out on the trail himself. Just one question, though: If you’re going for a purely positive message, why get Christie for the keynote? Rubio would have been much better in that role. You could have put Christie instead in the Thursday night slot to introduce Mitt and get the crowd fired up. I don’t quite get it.