Monday, August 25, 2008

Nominating Conventions--Who's Watching?

This post is brought to you by Joe Cera, a graduate student in political science at UWM.

One of the central functions conventions serve is as important group identity rallying points. They are party-themed affairs, and they accentuate partisan concerns and partisan thinking. And potential voters expose themselves to information disseminated during the conventions based on their pre-existing partisan affiliations. In other words, to a certain extent conventions are “preaching to the choir.”

Consider the pattern of voluntary exposure to the 2004 convention speeches of Bush and Kerry amongst different partisan groups:

These viewing patterns show who the convention audience is—largely the convening party's supporters and political independents. And this viewing audience helps explain the messages we'll be hearing in the next two weeks. So if you hear the candidates or their surrogates talking about reaching out to the other party, you know that the other party is generally not watching.

1 comment:

Cindy Kilkenny said...

Ooh! Ooh! (I'm raising my hand here. It should bring back fond memories.)

I'm not sure WHEN the bump is in all of this discussion. Three days after the first day? Seven?

Thanks.