The Democratic National Convention last week was a disaster. Even many high-profile Democrats were criticizing it as a cringefest that did little to appeal to anybody. The speeches were boring, the humor was terrible, and the tone was dark and divisive. It was the political version of the 2018 YouTube Rewind. Did that stop the media from portraying it that way? No, but even the polls of the left-leaning audience showed that they were a bit disillusioned by it. Biden did not see a convention bump, and in fact he saw a convention drop. His polling lead in the battlegrounds went from 4.3 to 3 percent, and his lead nationwide fell from 7.6 to 7.1. His lead in the betting odds had dropped from 15.2 to 12.3 (and that was before the RNC). Biden gave the best speech of his campaign, and it was still a 22-minute rambling full of half-truths and hyperboles. He just miraculously had zero gaffes, even though it was off-putting at times. That's a low bar for the next commander-in-chief. If he fails to deliver a good speech where it counts in front of an empty arena after rehearsing it for 4 weeks nonstop in his basement, how is he going to be able to stand up to China (which was not mentioned in his speech)? And more importantly, how can the Democrats lead a country they despise?
The RNC was a whole different animal. Even though the DNC flopped, I could not criticize the boredom too much because it was a virtual convention. The RNC may not have had a crowd, but it's format was much more organized. The music was patriotic, and the speeches were optimistic about this country and our future. Instead of tearing down our country and history, it was an ode to it. Regardless of where you were on the political spectrum, it is not hard to realize this staunch difference between the two parties and their visions for the future. Night 1 was much better than the DNC combined, and was the worst night of all in my opinion. Charlie Kirk and Nikki Haley both spoke, so you know it was not the best lineup. Jim Jordan, Vernon Jones, Andrew Pollack, Sean Parnell, and Maximo Alvarez all gave wonderful speeches. Jones was a Democrat officeholder who supports the president, and Alvarez gave a speech talking about how much better America is than life in Cuba. Don Jr.'s speech was not really interesting, but at least he mentioned that we should lower immigration to protect our workers. Tim Scott closed out the night with a speech I thought was dull, but still it did appeal to the moderates and it was praised nevertheless.
The second night was a big improvement. Abby Johnson gave a great speech condemning Planned Parenthood, but did so in a way that could even appeal to pro-choice suburban women. Nick Sandmann had a shining moment where he dunked on the lying media and put the MAGA hat on and smirked. Daniel Cameron proved himself to be a future star within the party, and a potential successor to Mitch McConnell. After a speech by neocon Mike Pompeo, Melania Trump gave a phenomenal, unifying speech that the media would be praising for hours on end if she was any other first lady. There was a naturalization ceremony, which seemed out-of-place and cringe given Trump's hardline stances on immigration. Night three was also good. Kristi Noem and Marsha Blackburn did a great job, condemning the nonsense happening while still appealing to suburban women. Madison Cawthorn proved himself to be a future star, telling his resilient story and standing up (literally) for America. Jack Brewer, Burgess Owens, and Clarence Henderson made their case while trying to appeal to the black community. Richard Grenell gave a great speech about the importance of nationalism, and thank God he did not bring up identity politics. Mike Pence gave a phenomenal speech to round off the night, proving that he will be more than capable to take on Kamala come October in the debate.
Night 4 saw several heartfelt speeches, one by parents who lost their daughter to ISIS, the other from the widow of deceased heroic police officer David Dorn. Tom Cotton gave a compelling speech about cracking down on China. Rudy Giuliani discussed the downfall of New York City. Jeff Van Drew made a compelling argument for legacy Dems to walk away from the party. Trump got to have his speech last. It was not as good as his 2016 speech, but it blew Biden's out of the water. He discussed why he should have another four years, and hit Biden hard on his past record. He did a good job, even though the energy was not as high as it was four years ago. The setting was more intimate, so I do not blame him for that entirely. It still destroyed Biden's, as he spoke for 3-4 times as long as his. The night ended with a fireworks display and live opera music, as the final fireworks spelled out "Trump 2020" in the sky. Magnificent.
The betting odds seemed to like it. Since Biden picked Kamala Harris, his lead in the betting odds has been reduced from 24.3 to 6.5. Trump rose 5.8 points during the RNC, and he seems to have the momentum. There was no bump for Biden, and I am not sure how big a bump would be for Trump. Either way, we will watch the polls this week and see what happens. The most accurate Michigan pollster from 2016 and 2018 has Trump up in Michigan by 2--which is phenomenal. The race's tides may finally be turning, and this race will go down the wire. If Trump fans remain enthused, they can swarm the Dems at the ballot box and defeat them soundly.