A year ago the question of whether conventions matter anymore was being debated because Mitt Romney had a lackluster bounce in his poll numbers following the GOP convention in Tampa. Similar things were being in 2004 after John Kerry’s convention performance.
In fairness to Romney he did have to follow a guy talking to an empty chair and at least he didn’t salute anyone.
This all built on the bounce in the polls candidate following their convention. The news media give them round the clock coverage for a week, they make a nationally televised speech and the other side lays low, so of course the featured candidate will see their polls numbers rise.
The argument being made by convention doubters is that candidates don’t get any kind of a bounce so what’s the point in doing this? They say, you know 30 years ago the convention was shown on all three networks and there were not that many other choices for people. Back then there was no internet and cable was not what it is today in terms of audience size or quality of programming.
So, the critics say, with all of these choices how can you expect anyone to get a bounce these days because fewer people are playing attention?
Here’s the thing about that argument Obama in 2012 and Bush in 2004 both did get convention bounces. Maybe not as great as it was in say 1992 but a bounce none the less. So actually maybe it’s not be that conventions aren’t important maybe it’s that they were telling us that Romney and Kerry actually weren’t very good candidates. Considering how both their campaigns ended I think you know which way I tilt on this one.