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Author Topic: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention  (Read 12635 times)

MicroBalrog

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Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« on: August 21, 2008, 10:59:05 AM »

 Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
By: Richard T. Cullen
August 12, 2008 11:59 AM EST

While excitement is building for a Democratic Party convention capped by Barack Obamas historic acceptance speech before a sold-out, 75,000-seat football stadium, the GOP convention the following week is shaping up to be a considerably more staid affair, marked by the conspicuous absence of many of the usual convention attendees.

Republicans arent exactly planning to avoid the convention in droves. But compared to past conventions, lawmakers, lobbyists and candidates arent beating a path to St. Paul either.

Of the 12 Republicans running in competitive Senate races  five of whom are incumbents  only three have said they will be attending the convention. Six are definite no-shows, and three are on the fence.

Nobody likes a funeral, said a Senate Republican press secretary who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the overall climate of general malaise about the party as the reason for hesitance on the part of Republicans.

On the House side, according to a report in The Hill, during a July 31 conference call National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Tom Cole of Oklahoma discouraged congressional hopefuls from attending, saying that doing so would potentially be a waste of time.

At least a handful of Republican incumbents, ranging from vulnerable incumbents such as Jon C. Porter and Dean Heller, both of Nevada, to safe veteran members such as Jim Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, have also decided to stay home this year.

While the congressman believes spending time with the delegates and the party faithful is productive, he is focused on campaigning in his district and ensuring that we keep Nevada red, said Matt Leffingwell, Porter's press secretary.

The political environment is just one explanation behind the absence of convention fever. Many GOP lobbyists also have decided the convention isnt worth the trip  despite the seemingly limitless networking and schmoozing opportunities  in part because of logistics and location.

In 2004, D.C.-based conventioneers could zip in and out of New York City by train. The 2000 convention in Philadelphia was an even shorter ride.

 

St. Paul, by contrast, requires a flight halfway across the country from Washington  and, of course, the maddening hassle of air travel. The convention dates arent great either because opening day falls on Labor Day, which for parents marks the beginning of the school year.

Thats asking a lot of attendees, some of whom question whether, as a destination, the Twin Cities will be worth the aggravation.

I would definitely say that people arent as excited about going to Minneapolis as they were about going to New York City, said Matthew Keelen, president of the Keelen Group, a D.C.-based lobbying firm. Minneapolis is a nice city, but it doesnt quite have the environment and reputation of a New York City, and I think 2004 was a unique convention and a lot of it had to do with where it was, he said.

Overall, Republicans have an intensity problem, added a top Republican lobbyist who requested anonymity. I have a lot of friends that are just not going that have gone in years past.

One Republican lobbyist interviewed by Politico said that of all the Republicans in his firm, only half were attending this year's convention.

The lack of enthusiasm has been a source of frustration for venue owners close to the convention hall at the Xcel Center. Some of them were struggling until recently to meet their reservation expectations .

We certainly werent alone, a lot of venues hadnt heard anything and were kind of wondering what might of happened, said David Miller, general manager of the St. Paul Hotel.

Republicans arent the only ones who appear less than passionate about their national convention. TV One, a new cable network aimed at African-American viewers, plans to cover the Democratic convention but not the GOPs.

Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan group that strives to promote youth involvement in the political process, has an elaborate Ballot Bash fundraiser scheduled in Denver, which features, according the groups website, a live concert featuring exclusive performances and collaborations by marquee artists in addition to an after-party of world class DJs VIPS and celebrity guests.

But for the GOP convention, Rock the Vote has more modest aspirations, featuring a Premier Womens Event: Political Chicks A Go Go, sponsored by Lifetime television network and Right Now! with no notable music acts or VIPs.

As of right now theres not an equal amount [of events] but were working to get it that way, said Rock the Vote spokeswoman Stephanie Young, who cited space issues as part of the reason for the disparity.

Regardless, the Republican National Committee says the level of excitement will be parallel to that of past conventions.

"We're confident that we're going to have a great national convention with enthusiastic participation from Republicans nationwide who are working hard every day to elect John McCain in November, said Amber Wilkerson, an RNC spokeswoman.

Several of the Republicans interviewed contended that the goal isnt necessarily to compete with the Democratic convention.

Were not having a rock concert at a stadium, but yet Republicans are looking at good polling data right now, theyre looking at a candidate whos getting his sea legs right now, said Edward Kutler, a Republican lobbyist for Clark and Weinstock. I really think there is growing enthusiasm about what John McCain is doing and saying.

© 2008 Capitol News Company, LLC

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12476.html
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AJ Dual

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 11:30:45 AM »

I think the bigger problem might be the "enthusiasm gap" the DNC is suffering with Obama.

To have your candidate hyped as the second coming of the messaiah for so long, then only be within the margin of error for 50/50 with stodgy old McCain is not good. And worse when the mean old racist fat-cat warmongering fuddy-duddy oil whore is actualy ahead in some of the most meaningful polls, like most likely voters.
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MicroBalrog

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 11:33:44 AM »

Rasmussen:

Quote
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, its Obama 48% and McCain 46% (see recent daily results). Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day.

The race has been amazingly stable in recent weeks with the candidates staying within a point or two of each other every single day. A batch of polls from other organizations yesterday confirmed the tightening of the race that Rasmussen Reports first picked up several weeks ago. One of the advantages of daily tracking is that you are able to more precisely measure when changes in the race take place rather than relying on a once-a-month update. Currently, a couple of other polls show McCain ahead and a few more show Obama with the lead. Thats exactly the distribution youd expect to see if Obama is up by a point or two.

New state polling data shows a toss-up in New Hampshire, Obama with a narrow lead in Pennsylvania, and McCain with an advantage in Ohio, Louisiana and Florida (see 50-State Summary). Democrats lead by ten on the Generic Congressional Ballot.
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sumpnz

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 11:43:35 AM »

Micro - remember that the major polls have, since 2000 at least, overstated Dem support by 3-5%.

Also, look at all the polls, not just Rasmussen.  One of the better prediction websites, that also shows a good rundown of all the polls, is www.electionprojection.com  The guy that runs it is more of a Republican partisan than most, but he seems to have a good analysis.  Until today he was showing Obama with a significant EV edge (now it shows McCain with a slight edge). 

MicroBalrog

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 11:49:41 AM »

Micro - remember that the major polls have, since 2000 at least, overstated Dem support by 3-5%.

Also, look at all the polls, not just Rasmussen.  One of the better prediction websites, that also shows a good rundown of all the polls, is www.electionprojection.com  The guy that runs it is more of a Republican partisan than most, but he seems to have a good analysis.  Until today he was showing Obama with a significant EV edge (now it shows McCain with a slight edge). 

I wish I could believe this, sumpnz.

But my background doesn't allow me to. Cheesy

See, I have volunteered for, supported, or cheered of, for a variety of political candidates over the last eight years. Most of them lost. And with all the guys who lost,there were always some supporters who would say, "oh, sure most of the polls predict our routing, but the polls are not true because [rationalization], and actually I heard of this alternative poll that shows we're actually AHEAD!"

I guess we're going to see on Election Day.
Destroy The Enemy in Hand-to-Hand Combat.

"...tradition and custom becomes intertwined and are a strong coercion which directs the society upon fixed lines, and strangles liberty. " ~ William Graham Sumner

Gowen

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 12:16:16 PM »

I think that the "Recreate 68" group is not the excitement the dems are wanting.
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sumpnz

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 01:33:43 PM »

Micro - remember that the major polls have, since 2000 at least, overstated Dem support by 3-5%.

Also, look at all the polls, not just Rasmussen.  One of the better prediction websites, that also shows a good rundown of all the polls, is www.electionprojection.com  The guy that runs it is more of a Republican partisan than most, but he seems to have a good analysis.  Until today he was showing Obama with a significant EV edge (now it shows McCain with a slight edge). 

I wish I could believe this, sumpnz.

But my background doesn't allow me to. Cheesy

See, I have volunteered for, supported, or cheered of, for a variety of political candidates over the last eight years. Most of them lost. And with all the guys who lost,there were always some supporters who would say, "oh, sure most of the polls predict our routing, but the polls are not true because [rationalization], and actually I heard of this alternative poll that shows we're actually AHEAD!"

I guess we're going to see on Election Day.
Oh, I thought McCain was a goner until just recently.  In fact I bought 3 AR-15 lowers back in June becuase I thought Obama would win big.  Now though I think the tide really is turning.  Besides, I did say that the overstatement was 3-5%.  If the polls showed consistent >5% leads by Obama I would believe that he was legitimately ahead.

thebaldguy

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 02:47:12 PM »

They're getting ready for the convention here in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. One problem is a shortage of police officers. They want to have 3500 officers ready for the convention, but right now they only have 3000. They are expecting to make 3000 arrests at the convention.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/08/05/rnc_cops/?refid=0

3,500 officers will be ready for RNC
by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
August 5, 2008
St. Paul, Minn.  St. Paul police say they are close to reaching their goal of recruiting 3,500 officers to provide security for the Republican National Convention.

The officers are coming from across Minnesota, and law enforcement agencies from neighboring states have been invited also.

But St. Paul Police Federation President Dave Titus said 3,500 officers may not be enough. Titus says he would prefer having about 6,000 officers on hand.

"Of course we're concerned. Our officers are going to be on the front line. Your normal, everyday protester is going to be fine; they're going to come out here and lawfully relay their message, and god bless them. I'm glad they will. The problem is going to be, how many troublemakers are going to come? It doesn't take many to cause a large-scale problem," Titus said.

The officers will be paid time and a half. A $50 million federal grant will cover the cost of officer pay and other security expenses.

HankB

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 06:47:03 AM »

The presumptive GOP nominee is a RINO, and former Algore running mate Joe Lieberman has been under serious consideration as his running mate . . . it it any wonder there's little enthusiasm?  rolleyes
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MicroBalrog

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 11:01:56 AM »

The presumptive GOP nominee is a RINO, and former Algore running mate Joe Lieberman has been under serious consideration as his running mate . . . it it any wonder there's little enthusiasm?  rolleyes

zing!

Give this man his Internet!
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MechAg94

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008, 06:16:51 PM »

If he picks Lieberman, his chances drop in the toilet.  I think he knows that.  In this election, he seems to have consistently looked to the left a bit to see if he can take support from Obama.  I think if Lieberman was ever under serious consideration, it was someone looking at that.  Just my opinion though. 

On the polls, I just first ask if the polling was for likely voters or not.  A lot of times the numbers in the headlines are not. 
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cassandra and sara's daddy

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 07:50:51 PM »

how so? if he picks lieberman the far righjt is gonna do what? vote obama?  heck lieberman sucks away more dems to cross over. those outraged hillary supporters et al.heck liebermans the only dem in 30 years i woulda considered voting for
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MechAg94

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 07:51:26 PM »

As I heard someone else say, McCain doesn't need a moderate/liberal to draw more votes from Obama.  He is that guy.  He needs someone to give his base a reason not to stay home and maybe shore up any weaknesses on his part.
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seeker_two

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 03:41:22 AM »

As I heard someone else say, McCain doesn't need a moderate/liberal to draw more votes from Obama.  He is that guy.  He needs someone to give his base a reason not to stay home and maybe shore up any weaknesses on his part.

Agreed....he hasn't really won over his own party yet, much less the general populace....

I think the GOP convention may end up having more excitement than expected....
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MicroBalrog

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2008, 06:57:32 AM »

how so? if he picks lieberman the far righjt is gonna do what? vote obama? 

Why not? IT's the boy who cried wolf scenario.
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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2008, 06:16:42 PM »

Quote
If he picks Lieberman, his chances drop in the toilet.  I think he knows that.
Yes, but does he care?

He's been bucking the GOP party line for years. Why should he stop now, when he's won the nomination anyways?

MicroBalrog

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2008, 06:23:21 PM »

Quote
If he picks Lieberman, his chances drop in the toilet.  I think he knows that.
Yes, but does he care?

He's been bucking the GOP party line for years. Why should he stop now, when he's won the nomination anyways?

One would hope he actually wants to be President.
Destroy The Enemy in Hand-to-Hand Combat.

"...tradition and custom becomes intertwined and are a strong coercion which directs the society upon fixed lines, and strangles liberty. " ~ William Graham Sumner

MechAg94

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 09:18:57 AM »

Well, there is also the point that most of the likely "conservative" VP candidates are not too conservative anyway, just more so than him. 

Either way, he is running neck and neck with Obama.  I am sure he doesn't want to do anything that will screw that up right when Obama is on center stage at the Dem convention.
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LAK

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2008, 01:41:55 AM »

Quote
“Nobody likes a funeral,” said a Senate Republican press secretary who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing “the overall climate of general malaise about the party” as the reason for hesitance on the part of Republicans.
That sums it up very well. Somebody send them some flowers.

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2008, 06:17:56 PM »

McCain needs a woman VP that is articulate and conservative but not too far out in right field. The Hillary angst vote would stampede to him.
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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2008, 05:56:16 AM »

McCain needs a woman VP that is articulate and conservative but not too far out in right field. The Hillary angst vote would stampede to him.
Looks like he got the right one!

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Re: Enthusiasm gap plagues GOP convention
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2008, 11:30:32 AM »

McCain needs a woman VP that is articulate and conservative but not too far out in right field. The Hillary angst vote would stampede to him.
Looks like he got the right one!

Nailed that on!
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