Bill Clinton, Democratic National Convention star

September 10, 2012

Bill Clinton's speech was the highlight of last week's Democratic National Convention, according to the results of a Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll released Monday.


(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Nearly three-in-10 Americans (29 percent) who watched at least a little of the coverage of the Charlotte convention said Clinton's address was the highlight of the gathering, while just 16 percent said President Obama's speech was the highlight. First lady Michelle Obama, who gave a prime-time address on the first night of the convention, was not far behind the president, with 15 percent choosing her address as the highlight.

Clinton delivered a 48-minute speech (a good 10 minutes longer than Obama's address!) during the second night of the convention that was very well-received.

Even Republicans have been singing Clinton's praises (albeit in an effort to ding Obama's image). In an interview with "Meet The Press," Mitt Romney said that Clinton "did elevate" the Democratic convention. And Romney has also sought to play Clinton against Obama in a TV ad he released the day after Clinton's speech in Charlotte.

The Pew poll data show that like Romney after the GOP convention, changes to the way  Obama was viewed changed only slightly after the Democratic convention. (The latest poll was conducted Friday through Sunday.)

A plurality (48 percent) said their view of the president had not changed in the past few days. Sixty percent of Americans who watched at least a little convention coverage rated Obama's speech as excellent or good, compared to just 53 percent who judged Romney's speech to be excellent or good.

Pew polled Americans after the Republican convention and found that Clint Eastwood's one-of-a-kind empty chair address was most often cited as the highlight of that gathering.

Clinton's 29 percent figure in the latest poll was higher than the 20 percent who said Eastwood's speech was the highlight of the GOP gathering.

In other words, Bubba sure knows how to command an audience.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Sean Sullivan | September 10, 2012