Sorry for not blogging more during this convention. However, it looks like there’s more than enough reporting on the convention to go around. Especially from the bloggers.
This week of the Convention has made me think a good deal about what it’s going to take to change undecided minds in November, and what people are looking for in a candidate or platform.
Ruy Teixiera has a post where he argues that the only way Bush can win is if he retains his massive support in the White Working Class (WWC). Ruy notes that Clinton’s victories in 92 and 96 were due, in large part, to the WWC defecting (many of them Reagan Democrats, no doubt) back to the Democratic fold to vote for Clinton.
Elsewhere on the web, people are wondering how Clinton’s free trade stances could have gotten him so much of the WWC vote. I think it’s pretty simple. The WWC, perhaps more than any other constituent group, is prone to act according to the Gut Reaction Theory, first posited on DeskJockeys. This theory says that most voters have a gut reaction to a candidate, which trumps all other policy details about the platform. Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush all succeed in attracting Gut Reaction voters.
Kerry will have a hard time attracting the WWC, because his Gut Reaction Quotient is relatively low. The WWC vote doesn’t hinge on NAFTA, welfare, or anything remotely policy-oriented. It’s all about the gut.
Speaking of gut reactions, Barak Obama was, indeed, wonderful to listen to. It’s a pleasure hearing a Democrat use the phrase “I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs.” Gave me chills.