Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GOP nominates Mitt Romney

The Republican Party nominated Mitt Romney today as their contender for the U.S. presidency. The delegation from New Jersey sent Romney over the top with the magic number of delegates although the nomination does not become official until he formally accepts it on Thursday.

Today's event occurred as Hurricane Isaac made an official first landfall off southeastern Louisiana. Forecasters expect Isaac to make a second landfall sometime tonight possibly south of New Orleans.  The tropical weather is upstaging the convention to some extent and organizers are careful not to seem insensitive while celebrating the Romney nomination.

The location of the event in Florida helps to highlight the importance of that state for the Republican nominee. North Carolina, the location for the Democratic National Convention, has been looking good for President Obama lately.  In previous polling, the state looked like it was sliding in Romney's direction.

However, the three most recent polls may suggest that Obama has closed the gap and pulled into a tie with his opponent.

On prime time television tonight, Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will try to "humanize" the nominee who many view as lacking in animation and feeling. On Wednesday, we can expect more of the same thing as Republicans attempt to create a clear image of Mitt Romney for the nationwide viewing audience.

With only 70 days left until the election, the GOP does not have that much time to define their nominee for voters.  Television ads help, but nothing is quite so effective as seeing the candidate live during a televised broadcast.  Thursday will really be Romney's biggest opportunity to let people know who he is and what he stands for.  The other big major windows will be the three debates with President Obama coming in October.

While many people on the Democratic side worry about Romney's fundraising advantage, up to now it has not done much to swing the election in the Republicans favor.  For the 2012 election, Romney and the Republican Party have spent about $368 million compared to about $262 million for Obama and the Democratic Party.   Outside spending for Romney so far is at $107 million compared to only $39 million for Obama.

However, the president still leads by a slight margin in national polls and he is doing quite well in battleground state surveys.





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