Voters tuned out, but not turned off

Political activists around New England, Republicans and Democrats alike, generally give the GOP national convention mixed grades. Most often cited, both favorably and unfavorably, are the lack of suspense and the tone of the platform.

Desribing the proceedings as ''very positive, very well-run, and upbeat,'' Loyall Sewall, Republican state chairman in Maine, said: ''Our party is more unified than it has been for years.''

Describing both parties' conventions as ''extremely well-organized, if not over-organized,'' John W. Sears, the 1982 Massachusetts gubernatorial nominee, expressed ''disappointment'' that at both, ''little was left for delegates to do.''

Most Democrats, as might be expected, were less than impressed by the GOP convention. One notable exception, former Boston Mayor John F. Collins, said he particularly liked the speech by UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, whom he praised for ''laying it on the line.''

Mr. Collins, one Massachusetts Democrat who obviously plans to vote for Reagan, hailed the President's ''strong leadership'' in steering the nation's economy ''in the right direction.''

Such views are shared by Robert Philbrick, town moderator in Milford, N.H., and a prominent Edward M. Kennedy-for-President activist four years ago. Terming the Republican platform and the convention ''great,'' Mr. Philbrick describes himself as ''a Democrat who is strongly for Reagan.'' The President, he says, has ''turned this country around.''

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