I hesitate to make a prediction but the race for president may not wind up being as close as it currently looks.
First the TV audience:
- Hillary Clinton’s speech (26.0 million viewers) had higher ratings than Michelle Obama’s speech (22.3 million viewers).
- Almost five times as many people (26 million) watched Day Two coverage in 2008 vs. Day Two in 2004 (5.9 million) when only the cable networks covered the convention
It will be interesting to see the numbers for tonight. But last night’s numbers don’t suck either:
- More than 24 million people watched the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention — a 7.5% decrease from 26 million viewers on day two of the convention.
- Wednesday night’s speeches, which featured Former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement of Senator Obama and Senator Joseph Biden’s acceptance of his party’s nomination for vice president, drew 12.2% of all African American viewers — down slightly from the prevous night when Hillary Clinton addressed the convention (12.7%), but up from day one (12%), when Michelle Obama spoke.
- Viewers age 55 and older continue to dominate the DNC’s TV audience, with 18.1% of all Americans in that age group — 12.5 million people — tuning in to Wednesday night’s convention coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, BET, and TV One.
Perhaps most telling is this: The 24 million who watched last night was a third larger than the 18 million who watched day three of the 2004 Democratic snooze fest.
Then the live audience:
According to the Dayton Daily News, Sen. John McCain is still giving away tickets to his Friday rally where he will unveil his running mate. He’s having trouble filling a 10,000 seat arena.
(BTW, all 75K seats seem filled for tonight’s speech at Mile High Stadium by Mr. Obama)
All of which may be caused by the McCain campaign’s astounding ability to say exactly the wrong thing. First there was former advisor Phill Gramm’s “American’s are whiners” reaction to the current economic troubles. This of course was still eclipsed by the candidate himself saying he didn’t know how many houses he had. While nothing will ever top that one there’s today’s wonderful bon bête on how to deal with the health insurance issue:
“The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.” — John Goodman (not the actor), president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank, and the person who helped draft. Sen. John McCain’s health care policy.
Best line in the story: “Goodman said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort.” I believe Goodman was quoting a classic solution to problems of the poor originally conceived of a by a Mr. Dickens. Too bad he hadn’t read Mr. Swift.
Suddenly the malaprops of Dan Quayle and even the our current Inarticulator-In-Chief don’t seem so bad.
All that said, the good senator from Arizona is hardly out of it by any account. Should he pick either Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Christine Todd Whitman (former governor of New Jersey and ex-chief of the EPA) as VP he could really make it close. That would get him a lot of Hillary defectors. While the senator has been mentioned as a possible veep it is as the longest of shots, the governor has not even got that close.
BTW, you could save some time and read this stuff at the place I get it: Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire. I recommend it highly.