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Gustav and the GOP convention

August 31, 2008 - Steve Murch
You have to feel a little for the Republicans because of having to modify their convention due to Hurricane Gustav. Coming on the heels of a rousing and memorable Democratic National Convention, the RNC would have given the GOP a chance to shine.

However, now the Republicans not only have their plans changed, but the focus of the nation will be squarely on Gustav’s aftermath (since landfill will occur before the convention gets going in earnest) and New Orleans. While no convention draws the viewers they once did, there still is interest and those watching will be fewer than if devastating weather didn’t occur.

For John McCain, while he will now accept the party’s nomination during a convention tempered by the hurricane, he was able to generate excitement in his party by naming his vice presidential candidate before the holiday weekend. Even though news on Friday is not the most read/viewed by the public because it’s the end of the week (compounded this time by a holiday), by naming a female as his running mate, McCain was able to generate more interest than it normally would have otherwise.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Republicans carry on during the convention and how much the American public tunes in to view. Much of it likely depends on the severity of Gustav’s effects.


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