Democrats Getting Worked Up

Posted September 5th, 2012 at 10:59 pm (UTC+0)

Charlotte Off And Running

A quick survey of Democratic Party convention delegates here in Charlotte, North Carolina suggests that President Obama’s supporters are, once again, “fired up and ready to go,” to quote the lingo from 2008. I spoke with delegates from Georgia, California, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, West Virginia and North Carolina and all of them seem pretty excited following the opening sessions of the convention.


First Lady Michelle Obama wows Democratic Party convention delegates in Charlotte, North Carolina Sept. 4. Photo: AP

First lady Michelle Obama absolutely wowed the crowd Tuesday night, setting up an effective personal introduction to her husband later in the week. Some Democrats here agree with the notion that the party faithful need to be reminded about the president’s achievements during his first term, and they know they have a challenging case to make to the country at large as well.

But unlike the Republicans, who were united in their distaste for Mr. Obama well before their convention in Tampa, Florida last week, the Democrats really do need a pep rally. Barack Obama drew a huge wave of new voters four years ago that propelled him to the White House.

Party leaders acknowledge there is almost no way he can match his performance this time around among young voters, first time voters and women. That means there will need to be an extra push for those and other constituencies coming out of the convention.

Republicans believe opposition to the president will be enough to rally their base and get out their voters. Democrats may need to remind themselves how it was before Mr. Obama, and many seem to be making an extra effort to get back the enthusiasm they had four years ago. But a convention lineup of Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama is pretty formidable, and party leaders are counting on a big boost coming out of Charlotte.


Can an Obama boost trump Romney?

Speaking of boosts, it doesn’t look like the Republicans got much of one out of their convention in Tampa, Florida last week. To be fair, they put on a disciplined show, basically stuck to the anti-Obama message and Mr. Romney gave a pretty good speech. But some of the public opinion surveys recorded only a one point poll bounce following their convention and I know they were hoping for more.

President Obama, arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina Sept. 5, is expecting a boost in the public opinion polls after the Democratic Party convention. Photo: AP


This sets up the Democrats and President Obama to retake a slight edge in the race after the president’s acceptance speech here Thursday night. If the Democrats keep control of their convention as they have and focus on Mr. Obama’s strengths, especially his like-ability and ability to connect with middle class voters, a good speech could set up a healthy popularity bounce that might put him in the driver’s seat for the next several weeks. It could be a critical moment in a close election campaign where neither candidate has been able to move into much of a lead.

After the conventions, the next major event is the first presidential debate on October 3rd. in Denver, Colorado.

Candidates usually play it safe in debates, not wanting to make a mistake that might take days to fix. Still, the debates are a true wild card in our political system and the candidate who comes out of the conventions with a lead, even a modest one, can have an advantage in the final weeks of the presidential race.



2 responses to “Democrats Getting Worked Up”

  1. dennis david says:

    I believe that since Pres.Obama is part of the Democrats,the Democratic Party has got an upper hand in all conventions that are going and have been organized due to that fact that Americans have not repudiated the president and they will not now,

  2. john mann says:

    I wish I made 250 k I would be happy to pay taxes even 20 percent. You people with money and credit have it all and are constantly getting more and working class and poor get nothing but the shaft from every company we have anything to do with. In the meantime, these same companies are ripping off the government i.e., KBR, Blackwater and Halibertin for billions and oil companies get millions in grants and ruin our public lands. When will all this needless greed quit.

Jim Malone

Jim Malone

After a stint in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, Jim joined VOA in 1983 as a reporter and anchor on English broadcasts to Africa.  He served as East Africa correspondent, then covered Congress in the early 1990’s.   Since 1995, Jim has served as VOA national correspondent responsible for coverage of U.S. politics, elections, the Supreme Court and Justice Department.  Jim has been involved in VOA’s election coverage since the 1984 presidential campaign and has co-anchored live VOA broadcasts of numerous national political conventions, candidate debates and election night coverage.


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