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)