Don’t hold your breath. This week was the Democratic Party’s national convention.
This convention was set to be a milestone DISASTER in the history of political conventions for several reasons.
For one, it was likely the LEAST WATCHED convention since the inception of television. This will be the first virtual convention of any major American political party. Because the proceedings will be either pre-recorded or live-streamed, rather than in-person, the TV networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) are much less keen to cover the event and have pledged to only broadcast one hour a night of the convention broadcast (as opposed to the traditional five hours a night of live on-the-scene coverage). TV networks may have political leanings, but they’re not in the business of running the Democratic Party’s taped infomercials. Because what’s a convention without gaffes?
This lack of coverage and resulting awareness is important because two things typically come out of a presidential nominating convention: 1) approval ratings bounce for the presidential nominee, and 2) increased party unity.
First, as a result of the news coverage and goodwill from a convention a presidential nominee typically receives a bump in favorability ratings of around five to ten points. This is because presidential conventions are basically week-long ads for candidates and their party, leaving viewers with the best possible impression. However, to have a “convention bounce” it requires that people actually see the convention and form those positive associations. Because of the reduced air-time – and as a result, less surrounding publicity – the question is: Will anyone be watching? The answer is that we will likely see historic lows in viewership.
Historically, the approval bounce comes from voters in the coveted 10-15 percent of the electorate who are persuadable independents, the type who unintentionally find the convention broadcast while channel surfing. These people are business owners or soccer moms who are typically too busy with their own lives to keep up with politics, but who certainly vote. This year, this type of voter will likely be missing the Democratic Party’s convention viewership. This means no bounce for Sleepy Joe Biden and extremely low message penetration among the general public for the Democratic Party. But, hey, it’s probably a win for Democrats if fewer people actually know what they stand for because…
The Democrats are rabid crazy. Sure, they’ll try to put on a good face and pretend as though they’re a sane, capable and competent party with viable solutions for America’s challenges. They’ll try to tamp down the socialist nuts, like Bernie Sanders and AOC, with vetted scripts and limited programming time, who will raise their heads occasionally like residents of an insane asylum screaming through barred windows before they’re snatched away by orderlies. To the casual, uninformed viewer who happens to come across the convention, the Democrats might even appear reasonable and rational, even if a little too “woke.” But the crazy is bound to seep out. Sooner or later a rank-and-file Dem will go wildly off pre-approved script and start screaming “Abolish ICE,” “Defund the Police,” praise Hugo Chavez’s ghost, or pledge to enact a federally mandated Universal Drag Queen Story Hour that tells independent voters that this is not a serious party for the consideration of their vote.
All of this woke echo chamber auto-erotic claptrap is bad for the Democrats’ electoral chances, but good for party unity. Frankly, the Woke Progressive wing of the party is feeling left out of the Biden-Harris ticket. Traditionally, conventions are moments during which a party reconvenes and sets aside differences and battles fought during the primary process to coalesce around one party nominee. This process of “unity” may prove more difficult via cyberspace than in the flesh. Joe Biden his intra-party hurdles: namely the 1990s crime bill, his support for the insurance industry, and his general status as an old white male fogey, the existence of which is apparently a hate crime. Democrats would rather have a transhuman centaur atheist for their nominee. Expect more flame wars on Twitter.
The point is, we knew the Democratic Convention was going to be a disaster, whether or not anyone even saw it.