I know I haven’t written for you guys in some time, and I apologize for that. So let this be the end to my writing drought! Below is my article that was published today in Howard University’s Hilltop Newspaper about the upcoming political conventions. Don’t worry, its written in the standard “NavigatingPolitics” way, I just had to let them publish it first:
In just 78 days, after the longest and most expensive election in history, Americans will line up at voting booths and cast their ballot to either re-elect President Barack Obama or elect Gov. Mitt Romney.
The choice America faces in just under three months is between two men with stark differences; differences that have solidified and somewhat expanded over the past week after Romney chose Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.
With the Republican ticket complete, recent polls show President Obama leading Governor Romney slightly nationally, with that lead extending when considering battleground states exclusively. However, the numbers are extremely volatile right now, especially considering the bounce that candidates get from their political conventions at the end of the month.
SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THESE CONVENTIONS: From Aug. 27-30, Republicans will gather in Tampa, Fla., to formally nominate Romney and Ryan for President and Vice-President respectively. The following week (Sept. 4-6) Democrats will formally re-nominate Obama and Biden as their nominees in Charlotte, N.C.
Historically, the parties choose their nominees at the conventions after much lobbying and trade-offs between party leaders. Recently, however, conventions have transformed from this drama-filled, power hungry event to a ceremony (much like a wedding) where the outcome is known and attendees are there merely for support and unity.
Party conventions embody political theater at its best. Each side showcases their most popular leaders and details the vision (platform) and the direction in which it hopes to take the country. In 2004, it was the keynote speech then Gov. Obama delivered at the Democratic Convention that catapulted him into national spotlight.
Chris Christie, the outspoken governor who is extremely popular with conservatives will deliver the keynote address this year’s Republican Convention, while Julian Castro, the up-and-coming San Antonio Mayor will deliver the Democrat’s keynote address. These two picks illustrate Romney’s emphasis on energizing and motivating conservatives and Obama’s focus on the Latino vote in his re-election efforts, respectively.
THE RALLY OF TROOPS:
Convention speakers are not the only focus of conventions. Political conventions are used as a way to mobilize grassroots support in a particular area. This year, both party conventions are being held in major battleground states: Florida and North Carolina. Although President Obama won both states in 2008, he won by slim margins (winning North Carolina by about 13,000 votes, less than 1 percent). By hosting the convention in these cities, organizers will actively register more voters and recruit more volunteers, in hopes of gaining a competitive edge.
BRINGING IN THE MONEY:
Conventions would not happen without the massive amounts of money brought in by the several of fundraisers occurring during the three of four days at the sight.
A POLITICO article published earlier this week described how Republicans are renting out Yacht’s during the convention to raise money for their local campaigns and the Political Action Committees (PACs) that help fund them. While Republicans will be using the convention to build on their fundraising prowess, Democrats are hoping the convention will bring an end to their fundraising woes. July brought about the third consecutive month in which Obama and the democrats were out-raised by Romney and the Republicans. To add to that, there have been numerous reports recently detailing how Democrats are struggling to meet their convention fundraising goals because of their self-imposed fundraising restrictions on campaign contributions from corporations.
The upcoming conventions, first in Tampa, will receive immense media coverage and officially start the 2012 general election (as if it hasn’t started already).
The conventions will set the tone for both candidates and their respective parties. and will have a large effect on the state of the election going forward, as they do every four years. So be sure to tune in!
Article from: Elections 2012 Kickoff: The Conventions – 2012 Election – Elections – The Hilltop – The Student Newspaper of Howard University.