From the readers’ responses it is pretty clear the Republican National Convention didn’t convert any die-hard Democrats who despised Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) going into the event. A more nuanced criticism comes from Ericand: “Before the convention Ryan and Romney were offering many promises with very little indication of how they would deliver, in that sense at least, nothing has changed. Without new details promises to both cut taxes and balance the budget are either lies, preshadow major unpopular and dangerous cuts, if there were some other way to pay for them then this would have been the time to lay out a reasonable plan, not one based on intensely dynamic scoring, which isn’t backed up by empirical evidence.”
Others thought Romney “humanized” himself. Haubrick4 writes: “The reason that the RNC Convention will significantly help the Romney/Ryan ticket is because the convention did an excellent job humanizing Mitt, showing Ryan as ‘non-scary,’ and the speeches by women, including Ann, we’re heart-felt and touching.” Others agree Romney made progress on the likability front. Smallisbeautiful argues:
[T]he convention refuted by demonstration what the Dems have been asserting through their barrage of negative ads:
War on Women? Silliness, as demonstrated by Ann Romney’s powerful appeal and speeches by many strong and intelligent Republican women.
Republicans as radical? Refuted by prominent spots by Jeb Bush, Condi Rice and others who amplified the pragmatic and compassionate aspects of the party, as well as Romney’s own speech.
Romney as uncaring and aloof? Directly contradicted by personal and touching testimonies offered by members of his church, among other things. Where are similar stories of Obama’s character? All the commentary and spin in the world cannot hide the stark contrast between a man of words and a man of deeds.
Brian _N_Thornton writes:
The GOP convention has been successful if for only one dynamic. Mitt Romney has personalized himself, not as someone who is to be loved, but as someone who is to be respected for his decency, family loyalty and altruism. Mitt Romney has as a result, put to bed the greatest obstacle to his bid for the Presidency which is David Axelrod’s and team Obama’s concerted effort to portray him a cold-hearted venture capitalist interested only in himself.
Moreover, Mitt Romney has thrown down the gauntlet to Barack Obama by selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate. Now it is a debate about competence coupled with vision, and a willingness to take the Obama Administration and its record head on.
If Barack Obama fails to answer that challenge, then the Tampa convention will have been a resounding success.
On this one I agree with those who point out Romney may have moved his likability numbers although the overall shape of the race hasn’t changed markedly. (This suggests however that the $150 million Obama expended during the summer was largely wasted.) Nevertheless, as DMar2 writes, “The good news for the Romney team is that the official end of the nominating process, meaning that the campaign can start spending all of the money from its general election fund. With Obama ads matched one to one, the race should be a lot better for Romney as it will have the ability to effectively counter Obama ads and launch ads of its own.”