Friday, August 13, 2004
Will the Republican Convention help Bush or not?
There is an expectation that massive protests will occur in New York during the Republican National Convention. Some people are concerned that these protests could actually help Bush, particularly if the media covers a lot of wack job anarchists and/or there is violence. But I am of the mind that the media will cover the crazies no matter how few they are- if the only protesters are nut jobs, then that will be all that is covered. However, if there are a million people in the streets of all shapes and sizes, maybe the wierdos will get less attention. And I think that violence might be less likely with huge crowds than with moderate-sized ones. We'll see.
I believe that the overall situation is dicey for the Republicans. First of all, the networks aren't going to show the McCain and Guiliani speeches, which are the most important for Bush because they present the moderate face of the party. And second, if they appear to be trying to capitalize on 9/11, they are risking a backlash. Remember the response to Bush's first set of ads?
So I think that there are three likely scenarios, mentioned in order of probability. The first is that there is a moderately successful convention in which Bush enjoys a slight bounce. The second is that it is a failed convention as swing voters become disgusted with the politicization of 9/11. The third is that that the protesters make Bush look like a strong leader and alienate middle america.
So which of the three do you think is most likely? Or is there another option I haven't considered?