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Highlights From Tuesday's National Journal Events — PICTURES Highlights From Tuesday's National Journal Events — PICTURES

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Conventions 2012 / CONVENTIONS 2012

Highlights From Tuesday's National Journal Events — PICTURES

photo of Cory Bennett
September 4, 2012

On the first official day of the Democratic National Convention, National Journal hosted a series of events to get the Democratic take on many of the topics covered during the Republican convention.

To start, National Journal hosted a leading group of Democratic pollsters, including Joel Benenson, best known as Barack Obama's lead pollster during the 2008 campaign. The panel said that Mitt Romney received a negligible bump from the GOP convention. But the candidate had received a small bump among elderly white voters as a result of his controversial welfare ad

With polling techniques advancing rapidly, panelists said, each campaign has literally narrowed each swing state down to a few households in a couple specific media markets. The concept of a swing "state" is no more.

Regardless, it will be hard for Romney to take the White House without sweeping these swing states. There are scenarios, the panelists agreed, in which Obama could lose Ohio, Inidana, North Carolina, and Virginia, but still prevail in the election. 

During the "Path to Power Luncheon," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy gave their input on what the next four years of a potential Obama presidency would look like. Pelosi also outlined a scenario where the Democrats take the 25 seats necessary to regain control of the House.

In the early afternoon, National Journal hosted a panel of leading journalists and consultants who compared both candidates and parties. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said that the 2012 election will determine how we will deal with the so-called fiscal cliff. The broad outlines of a "grand bargain" are there. It just takes Republicans agreeing to some revenue additions. 

CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen had a grim outlook on the coming four years. Regardless of who is elected, he said, the next two to four years are going to be "rough." Others added that we may make progress on immigration reform, but economic and energy-policy decisions will likely remain elusive. 

(Check out Monday's event highlights)

National Journal's Major Garrett (left) and Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, speak at the Compare the Candidates event  in Charlotte on Sept. 4, 2012.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) National Journal's Major Garrett; Jim Kessler of the think tank Third Way; and David Gergen, senior political analyst at CNN, speak at the Compare the Candidates event in Charlotte on Tuesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

CNN's David Gergen, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood, and Ronald Brownstein, National Journal's political director, speak at the Compare the Candidates event in Charlotte on Tuesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (left), D-Calif., talks with Ron Brownstein, National Journal political director, during the Path to Power Luncheon at National Journal and The Atlantic event headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4, 2012.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Nancy Pelosi (left), D-Calif., laid out her plan for the Democrats to take the 25+ seats needed to regain the House in November. Ron Brownstein, National Journal political director, looks on during the Path to Power Luncheon at National Journal and The Atlantic event headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Gene Sperling (left), director of the National Economic Council, talks with Ron Brownstein, National Journal political director, during the Path to Power Luncheon in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4. Sperling condoned Paul Ryan's budget plan and said Republicans' "ideological resistance" is derailing a budget solution.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

(From left) Democratic Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Melody Barnes, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Major Garrett, National Journal chief White House correspondent, participate in the Path to Power Luncheon in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) Ron Fournier, National Journal editor in chief, and Bill Plante, CBS News, ask questions of Joel Benenson, Democratic National Committee pollster, during the National Journal and The Atlantic Daily Briefing in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The panel discussed evolving polling strategy and which areas campaigns were targeting.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

(From left) Ron Fournier, National Journal editor in chief, and Bill Plante, CBS News, with Joel Benenson, Democratic National Committee pollster at the National Journal and The Atlantic Daily Briefing in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 4.. 4.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 

(From left) Margie Omero, founder of Momentum Analysis; John Anzalone, partner at Anzalone Liszt Research; Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners; Beth Reinhard, National Journal political correspondent; and Ron Fournier, National Journal editor in chief, are the second panel during the Daily Briefing at National Journal and The Atlantic event headquarters in Charlotte on Tuesday.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

Celinda Lake said she had seen some evidence that the Romney welfare attack ad had actually moved pockets of white, elderly voters away from Obama. John Anzalone looks on.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

General consensus among panelists was that the Romney campaign was attempting to tap into racial fears with the welfare ad. The panel of pollsters also agreed that micro-targeting is getting so specific that swing states are coming down to a few select voters in a few targeted media markets.(Kristoffer Tripplaar)

 
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