Independent voters loved Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention performance, despite the criticism he drew from political observers.

Twenty percent of convention-watchers ranked Eastwood as the highlight of the week, according to a new PEW Research poll conducted over the weekend. Mitt Romney placed second with 17 percent — the same number that John McCain received in PEW’s 2008 poll.

Eastwood was especially popular among independent voters. “More independents who watched convention coverage cited Eastwood’s speech than Romney’s speech as the convention highlight (26% vs. 17%),” PEW found.

Republican voters preferred Romney (25 percent) to Eastwood (19 percent). A plurality of Democrats managed not to like anyone, as 40 percent of Democratic poll respondents told PEW that “there was no convention highlight.”