- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vilifying Republicans is a sport for some journalists, who continue to frame the Grand Old Party as a bunch of smug rich guys with a cold hearted agenda. Rep. Paul Ryan was frequently dismissed as a mere “attack dog” following his speech Wednesday, despite his inclusive take-away message — “We can do this” — and the fact that Mr. Ryan took pains on several occasions to acknowledge that, yes, President Obama had some challenges waiting for him when he arrived at the White House. The disconnect between the news coverage and the reality of the Republican National Convention is striking — and someone has quantified it.

“The convention has created large numbers of positive impressions of Mitt Romney but this effect is being somewhat offset by highly negative information elsewhere,” say preliminary findings from WPA Research, a pollster which compared impressions of swing voters in 10 states who actually watched the convention, and those who just watched the nightly news coverage.

Numbers reveal all: Among those who watched the convention, 67 percent gave Mr. Romney a more favorable rating based on what they saw. Among those relying on news, 72 percent came away with a less favorable rating.

“Close observers of the media have seen their devolution into an active partisan interest group. They are not in Tampa to report the events of the convention. They are in Tampa to frame the GOP message for the general public and find disparate items that can be twisted together to paint an explicitly negative impression,” says Mike Flynn, a political columnist with Breitbart.com. “Unfortunately, we now have some numbers to show their attempt is working.”

ROMNEY: ONE WORD

Instant reactions to Mitt Romney are not all that bad these days. When Americans were asked to describe the Republican presidential nominee in one word only, the top most cited word was “honest.” It was followed by business/businessman, rich, good, conservative, Republican, leader/leadership, OK, liar and president or presidential.

The top word cited in a similar poll taken in March was “no,” with the variants “no way” and “nope.” Mr. Romney appears to have come a long way. The Pew Research/Washington Post poll of the 1,010 respondents (272 Republicans, 325 Democrats and 351 independents) was taken Aug. 23 to 26.

THE HISTORIC CAMPAIGN

“I relate to both parties. I eat like an elephant and act like a jackass.”

- (Comedian Rich Little during an appearance on CBS, Aug. 16, 1988.)

‘2016’ ON A ROLL

The compelling new documentary “2016: Obama’s America” has earned $10.6 million at the box office so far, and will expand to 1,800 theaters this weekend, according to Rentrak Corp., which monitors theater box office activities nationwide. Based on Dinesh D’Souza’s book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” the film has grown its cumulative box office by 341 percent since it opened last month in a single Houston theater, the group says.

Where do the most ardent fans live? The five states with the strongest box office receipts are California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Ohio. The best-selling cities so far are Lima, Ohio; San Angelo and Tyler-Longview, Texas; Harrisonburg, Va., and Grand Junction-Montrose, Colo.

DOUGH-BAMA

A survey we can all stomach: LaMar’s Donuts begins the “2012 Presidential Donut Poll” on Saturday, pitting the “Dough-Bama” doughnut against the “Mitt Yum-ney” doughnut, all the way through Halloween. The Denver-based chain, which has 27 locations in six states, won global coverage for a similar poll four years ago and also donates a portion of the partisan doughnut sales to charity. They also have some accuracy. In 2008, the poll projected then-Sen. Barack Obama as the winner after the “Dough-Bama” accounted for 52 percent of sales. As it turned out, Mr. Obama ultimately won the real election with a nearly close share of the popular vote: 53.7 percent.

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