Can Romney's Convention Bounce Last Until November?

BlogHer Original Post

The Republican National Convention in Tampa "bounced" Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney six points in the polls leading President Obama heading into next week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Though convention bounces tend to subside especially quickly when the opposition follows with its own convention, running so close to an incumbent signifies a weakened current administration in the minds of Americans.

The momentum throughout the week hit a fever pitch last night here in Tampa as Romney's big night exploded with the likes of rising stars like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Former White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer spoke with BlogHer this week and boldly predicted a solid bounce to last and build through October.

"After the debates, the undecideds are going to break and break strongly for Romney," he said. "All the ingredients are there for Mitt Romney to win; all the ingredients are there for Barack Obama to lose.

"Barack Obama has very few plays and maneuvers left to move," he continued. "Mitt Romney has a lot. If he increases his popularity and likeability, the race is over; Romney wins."

No doubt, the case for Romney's business acumen was made. Now, it's time for "Operation Humanize" to kick into high gear.

Last night's video packages included one 10-minute work of political art -- personal, funny, tender.

Another touching moment: The nominee choked back tears telling the rose story of how his mom knew something was wrong the day his father died because she did not find her daily flower bedside.

In days long gone, politicians ran on ideas, not theatrics. But today's TV-centric, marketing-savvy public needs ideas to come in personal packaging. (Imagine blowhard John Adams running for president today).

"The advantage (Romney) has is he's dead even with an incumbent president, which is awfully, awfully hard to do," Fleischer said. "In particular, if I'm Barack Obama, I'm saying 'I am so much more likeable than Mitt Romney. Why is he even with me in the polls?' That suggests a huge vulnerability for Obama and room for Romney to grow."

Here are my gut takeaways.

  • Pros of the 2012 RNC: A deep and diverse talent bench displayed on the main stage. Republicans of every stripe, balancing their personal testimonies with support for Romney's candidacy. Some critiqued that the diverse stage speakers didn't represent the mostly white audience in the Forum, but you can't be what you can't see, and hopefully it helps grow the Party. Every speech, though some were clearly more appreciated that others (Rice vs Eastwood), showed a fresh and modern Republican Party while reassuring Americans that Romney's more than qualified to turn around the economy.

  • Cons of the 2012 RNC: Conflicting messages on the core beliefs of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as it relates to the Republican Party platform. One night, we hear from Ann Romney about the importance of love, family and marriage, while all week the Log Cabin Republicans hosted events in town, touting their tireless efforts to make headway on the rejected planks of gay marriage and gender equality. And while married women with children may make up a large, reliable voting block, plenty of American women have neither marriage nor children and just maybe live single lives quite happily. Sadly, the Republicans left these and many other voters on the table for the Democrats to gobble up next week, and that could make the difference between winning in November and four more years of abject failure.

 Follow BlogHer Contributing Editor Erica Holloway @erica_holloway.

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