It may well be that only political junkies are glued to the television channels showing the political conventions these days but they remain a valuable medium for the parties to reach out to potential voters. That’s why the choices made by the organizers in terms of speakers and topics are significant in that they signal which demographic groups the parties are most interested in reaching.
Last week, the Republicans devoted some time to playing to their base but the main focus was on convincing wavering Democrats and independents that President Obama’s economic failures were a reason to turn him out of office. Their sloganeering centered on the president’s denigrating individual initiative. They mentioned their opposition to ObamaCare but most of their convention rhetoric wasn’t aimed at conservatives or Tea Partiers but at those who voted for the president four years ago.
But the first night of the Democratic National Convention has been strictly about rallying the liberal base.
For hours, Democratic speakers have been speaking about abortion, ObamaCare and lauding big government initiatives. Democratic delegates have loved it.
But does the Obama campaign really think offering a speaking position to the most extreme advocates of abortion on demand, including late term and partial birth procedures appeals to the majority of Americans who do not wish to make all abortions illegal but support reasonable restrictions?
Do Democrats really think bragging about the passage of ObamaCare, a vast expansion of government power that restricted religious freedom and which is deeply unpopular with most Americans, as something they think will persuade undecided voters to back the president?
Many have questioned whether Mitt Romney can appeal to the political center and whether his campaign thinks they can win only by mobilizing the Republican base. But the GOP answered these challenges by devoting much of their infomercial to trying to persuade the center to think twice about four more years of Obama. But Democrats appear to believe they don’t need to appeal to anyone but those on the left.