Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Convention recap: Democrats depart with race deadlocked

September 7, 2012 by Scott Bomboy


On Thursday night, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden delivered their convention speeches, and beneath the surface, the key messaging had much in common with the Republicans.

The featured speakers and others tossed in shots at Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, and talked up the bailout of the auto industry and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

But an analysis of both speeches shows the three most often used phrases were "America" (or "American"), "president" and "jobs."

Last week, we analyzed the messaging from the speeches leading up to Romney’s acceptance speech in Tampa, and the same three topics topped the list.

The fourth biggest message from the two top Democratic leaders was “future.”

The two attack speeches came from Senator John Kerry and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Kerry got one of the biggest reactions of the night when he said, “Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago.”

In the media, there were mixed reactions to President Obama’s speech, much of it along party lines.

Now that the dust has settled, the campaigns will start a home stretch featuring a record amount of campaign spending and the same arguments that preceded the convention.

Expect much of the hand-to-hand fighting in the 10 swing states, as the current race seems deadlocked in terms of the popular vote.

The latest consensus of national polls from Real Clear Politics gives Obama and Romney each 46.7 percent of the national vote.

Ohio, a state that benefited by the auto industry bailout, is still heavily in play and crucial to the election.

The Buckeye State is already besieged with campaign ads, and there was news on Friday that the Romney team and super PACs sympathetic to him weren’t advertising in Michigan.

The trifecta of Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia would put President Obama within three electoral votes of taking the election, based on current polling projects. New Hampshire, with its four electoral votes, would seal the deal for Obama, as would Iowa with its six electoral votes.

As for Romney, he can lock up the election by taking Ohio, along with Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Without Paul Ryan’s home state, a combination of two remaining swing states would give the election to the GOP candidate.

Recent Constitution Daily Stories

Link: The Annotated Bill Clinton Convention Speech

Can you pass a simple Supreme Court quiz? The “Nader effect” in play after Goode decision Constitution Check: Do voters have a right to cast their ballots before Election Day?

Sign up for our email newsletter