How much of the Republican Party Convention will you watch this week?
32% - Probably just the last night
15% - None - conventions are no longer relevant
10% - Not interested in the Romney/Ryan message
The first political convention was held in 1766 to nominate a candidate for governor of Connecticut. The first convention to nominate a president was in 1831 held by the Mason Party, with Democrats and Republicans holding their first conventions in 1832.
Since the first presidential conventions - and for most of America’s political history - they served the purpose of selecting the nominee of each party, including many hotly contested and acrimonious events. For most of the past half century, however, conventions have served little more than to be a showcase for the incumbent and/or the last candidate standing in each party after the primary process - about 99% production and 1% nominating process.
Consequently, with the possibility of virtually no drama or surprises, conventions have become less of a big deal in America in the past generation. Indeed, where broadcast television networks once practiced the term they coined of “gavel to gavel” coverage, the big three - ABC, NBC and CBS - have reduced coverage from three or four hours a day for five convention days, to only the last hour each day.
We wanted to know how our small business audience felt about watching the GOP convention this year, so last week we asked this question: “How much of the Republican Party Convention will you watch this week?” Here’s what you told us.
One in ten of our respondents said, “Not interested in the Romney/Ryan message,” 15% said, “None - the conventions are no longer relevant,” and almost one third of our sample said, “Probably just the last night.” But the big number, 42%, said “As much as possible.”
This week the Democrats will stage their convention in Charlotte, N.C., where the Obama-Biden team will be nominated again. So our new poll asks the same question as last week, except for the party name change. Please make sure to register your answer.
It will be interesting to see how the new poll compares to last week’s response. I’ll have a final comment on both surveys next week. Stay tuned.