Republicans in one of the nation's biggest Democratic strongholds have one thing to tell Mitt Romney after the rash of bad publicity he's garnered over his secretly taped "47 percent" remarks.
It ain't over yet.
The majority of Republican insiders in New York polled by Patch this week said the candidate's quagmire over his seeming dismissal of poorer or government-dependent Americans will not affect the outcome of the election, though many admit that the situation has dealt a blow to the former Massachusetts governor.
In fact, only two of the 34 influentials who answered our survey thought the remarks spell the end of Romney's bid for the Oval Office.
Romney has faced immense scrutiny this week following the release of video secretly shot at a Florida closed-door fundraiser in which the candidate appears to disparage who he calls President Barack Obama's loyal base of voters.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what," Romney said in the video released by Mother Jones.
Romney so far has stood by his remarks, but conceded that they were not "elegantly stated."
It's a similar strategy suggested by many of Patch's respondents, a group of political insiders who include campaign organizers, community board members, activists, town supervisors and congressional candidates who all gave their remarks on the condition of anonymity.
"It's true and they should confront it head on. Explain why jobs are better then dependency," said one respondent.
"Do not apologize," said another. "Continue the message that America is about private sector opportunity and entrepreneurs and not the government running and coddling our lives."
In fact, most of the advice our insiders said they'd give to Romney and his campaign managers revolved around keeping their message on point with the country's economic recovery.
"They should immediately refocus on the fact that there are so many in need of govt subsidies because of Obamas failed economic policies," said one respondent, while another said, "don't be so stupid. Stick to the pressing issues and the failures of the Obama administraion."
Our insiders, however, did criticize the candidate for not being a smarter campaigner, especially when it comes to speaking more carefully in public.
"Be positive, be forthright and think before you speak (even in private)," one respondent said.
The Red Empire Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in New York. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between July 23 and July 31.
Patch will be conducting Red Empire State and Blue Empire State surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in New York. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Henry@patch.com.)
Red Empire Roster: Linda Cabral Marrero, Village of Ossining Mayoral Candidate, Pete Tripodi, Town of Ossining Councilman, Kim Izzarelli, 95th New York State Assembly District Candidate, Bob Terilli, Former Village of Ossining Trustee Candidate, Steve Dewey, Former Town of Ossining Councilman Candidate, John Murphy, Rockand County Legislator, Denis Troy, Orangetown Councilman, Paul Valentine, Orangetown Councilman, Tom Diviny, Orangetown Councilman, Tom Morr, Orangetown Councilman, Quinton Van Wynen, Pearl River Schools, Richie Bell, Head of the Pelham Republican Committee, Michael Recca, Westchester County Young Republicans, Michele Em, Activist, Steve Fuchs, Republican Town Committee Chairman, Elizabeth Bermel, Director of the Scarsdale Library, Jim Maisano, County Legislator, Ilyse Spertus, Former City Council Candidate, Peter Parente, Former Mayoral Candidate, Dennis Starr, Activist, Denise Ward, Attorney, Norm Rosenblum, Village of Mamaroneck Mayor, Lou Santoro, Village of Mamaroneck Deputy Mayor/Trustee, Maryanne Genovese, Party Chairwoman, Don Derrico, Party Chairman, Donald Sutherland, Republican Committee Secretary, Marlane Amelio, Councilwoman, Steve Malfitano, Councilman/Former Supervisor, Joe Cannella, Councilman, Luke Vander Linden, Bedford GOP Member, Robert Castelli, State Assemblyman, Lee Roberts, Bedford Town Supervisor, Don Scott, Bedford GOP Chair, Nan Hayworth, Congresswoman, Ed Day, Rockland County Legislator, Bob Axelrod, Clarkstown Republican Committee Chair, Christopher Carey, Rockland County Legislator, Frank Borelli, Clarkstown Town Councilman, Vincent Reda, Rockland County GOP Chair and Mitt Romney Lower Hudson Valley Campaign Coordinator, Matthew Slater, Vice President of Yorktown GOP, Terrence Murphy, Yorktown Councilman, Jennie Menton-Grasso, Community Member, Tony Grasso, Former Yorktown Councilman, Elizabeth Hudak, Southeast Councilwoman, Will Stephens, Former State Assemblyman, Jim Schoenig, Mayor for the Village of Brewster, Eric Cyprus, Vice Chair of Southeast Republican Committee, Terri Patton Stockburger, Village of Brewster Trustee, Bob Cullen, Southeast Councilman, Edwin Alvarez, Southeast Councilman, Michael Bartolotti, Chairman of Southeast Republicans, Robert Kirkwood, Former New Castle Supervisor Candidate, Gary Murphy, Activist, Judy McGrath, Activist, Robert Castelli, State Assemblyman, Robin Murphy, Activist, Christine Miscioscia, Former Tarrytown Trustee Candidate, Eleanor Miscioscia, Former Tarrytown Trustee Candidate, Philip E. Zegarelli, Former Sleepy Hollow Mayor, Jennifer Lobato-Church, Sleepy Hollow Trustee, George Lence, GOP Donor, Michael Smith, County Legislator, Terence Guerriere, White Plains Republican District Leader, Iris Pagan, Westchester County Women’s Republican Club, Bob Jackson, Former County Legislator, Ed Romaine, Suffolk County Legislator, Chris Talbot, Southold Town Councilman, John Galla, Riverhead GOP Chairman, Denis Noncarrow, Southold GOP Chairman, George Gabrielesen, Riverhead Town Councilman, Jim Wooten, Riverhead Town Councilman, Jesse Garcia, Chairman of Brookhaven GOP, Angelo Lomonte, Long Beach Zoning Board Member, Chris Wendt, Republican Supporter, Frank Scaturro, 4th Distruct Congressional Candidate, David McDonough, State Assemblyman, Gary Hudes, Hempstead Town Councilman, Jogi Giglio, Riverhead Town Councilwoman, Mark Epley, Southampton Village Mayor, William Wright, Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman, Jane Bonner, Brookhaven Town Councilwoman, Joan Adams Owner of Pierian Consulting, Ari Kirschenbaum, Director of Chabad Prospect Heights & Fort Greene, Juan Reyes, Supporter, Vince Tabone, Supporter, Louis Perrotta III, Supporter, Christopher Allred, Supporter, Scott Russell, Southold Town Supervisor, Robert Creighton, Smithtown Town Councilman, Peter McGreevy, Commodore at Orient Yacht Club, Ralph Ekstrand, Farmingdale Mayor, Dina DeGiorgio, North Hempstead Councilwoman, Dave Franklin, Port Washington Police Commissioner, Thomas J. Kehoe, Northport Village Trustee, Warren Church, Syosset American Legion Commander, Linda Manning-Koziatek, Realtor, Glenn Nocera, President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, Joe Bloecker, East Hampton Town Trustee, Don Derham, Federalists Society of Long Island, Betty Manzella, Vice Chair of the Brookhaven Republicans, Dan Panico, Town of Brookhaven Councilman.