Do the conventions help you decide whom to vote for?

The Democratic National Convention opens today and concludes Thursday with acceptance speeches by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Today’s Question: Do the conventions help you decide whom to vote for?

  • Emery

    So, we’re 65 days from election day and we still don’t know who won?

  • Lou

    No – the conventions have no relevance at all. They have become huge infomercials where every event is staged for the national media. They may stroke the egos of individuals that are elected as delegates and they showcase a community where the convention is held, but they have no real significance and the media should give them no more attention that they give the candidates at any other time during the campaign.

  • Phil

    No, most people have already made up their minds and those who have not are probably not going to be watching them anyhow.

  • Richard

    No. Although the speeches by the President and the GOP nominee are notable.

    I am very much looking forward to the Presidential debates. It will be interesting to see how these two candidates are able to manage in that type of environment. I suspect viewership will be through the roof.

  • Rich in Duluth

    No, but I do watch them for the entertainment value.

    To help make my decision, I listen to interviews and speeches, read news articles, have discussions with people I know, and check the facts through fact check organizations.

    I don’t care about specific promises the candidates make, because circumstances change. I don’t care that they have a nice spouse and kids or that they’re a “regular guy” you could have a beer with. I do care about how well they can speak, how intelligent they seem to be and how well they can get their ideas across.

    Mostly, however, I don’t vote for a person, but for the ideals that they and especially their party represent.

  • Gary F


    It’s nice to reassure oneself on why you vote the way you do.

    But the tired, biased analysis from the media makes it hard to watch.

    What it does signal is the beginning of the campaign advertising season.

    Which then I think every American is so tired of campaign ads that they can’t wait to vote and get it over already.

  • kim

    You’re kidding, right? Of course they don’t. About the only useful information I can imagine coming from a political convention is they can help you figure out what each party thinks you want to hear.

  • Jim G

    No. The differences between the two candidates are so stark I can’t imagine not having made up one’s mind by this time. The future is where we all will live, so what kind of future do we want to live in? I want to live in a future where the middle class is thriving and growing. If we elect Romney/Ryan I believe we’re in for a repeat of the Bush years where the richest will continue reaping disproportionate and unearned slices of the economic pie.

    I’ll be voting for President Obama and Democratic candidates for the House and the Senate to enable him to invest in the future of the middle class and finish the job he’s started but cannot complete without congressional support.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Having paid attention up to this point, something truly bizarre would have to happen for my mind to be changed (like, for instance, if God were to reveal to me that Joseph Smith’s golden plates really weren’t a figment of his imagination).

    My struggle with conventions is the same one Gary F identified when he wrote, “It’s nice to reassure oneself on why you vote the way you do.” Confirmation bias is so seductive, and so destructive.

  • Brent

    No – typically they are just an annoyance to me.

    I suppose the only way they would is if a clear candidate had not come to the front by that point.

    I tire of the protesters (on both sides)who always seem to start out peacefully, and then feel, at some point, that they have the right to damage property. Makes me sound, and FEEL, old to say it, but that’s the way I feel.

  • Alison

    Nope. I consider the conventions a nice time to catch up on all of the podcasts of the “The Story”, “This American Life”, and “Fresh Air” that I’ve been accumulating. I just can’t take listening to any more coverage of the ridiculous campaigns.

  • John

    No, they do show however that there is very little difference between the parties when it comes to wanting war and spending more and more on war.

    They also all back Israel, which tells me one thing, they are all bought and paid for by the big banks.

  • Larry M.

    Still haven’t seen the full Mitt speech, although I’ve seen the Clint Eastwood one. Wouldn’t have changed my vote anyway, not voting for a party that makes discriminating against others and limiting women’s rights to control their bodies the party’s priorities.

  • Julie

    No, but what the RNC did to Ron Paul’s supporters (that mainstream media didn’t) opened my eyes to the corruption in both parties and to our system.

    I will write-in Ron Paul, he is the only one that is truly against the wars, banksters, Federal Reserve, government growth, and the only one who really believes in individual liberty.

  • Paul

    I prefer to think outside of the box(-like convention center).

  • Joberg

    No – I’ll be voting for Romney and Ryan as they actually understand economics.

    obama’s theme will be as always ” not my fault”

  • JasonB

    A little, but I don’t look to them for any substantive information.

    Both parties are going to talk themselves up, and knock the other down. Both are going to do their best to make their case. If they can’t do this I get suspicious about how convinced they are that they are the right choice. In other words I like to see confidence in a candidate, even though I know it doesn’t always translate into effective governing.

  • GregX

    With CSPAN, FOX, MSNBC,, NPR, PBS, etal flogging every political issue into the forefront every hour of every day … the conventions no longer serve the intended function of “establilshing” what the party’s planks and messaging will be. The conventions are beauty contests for prospective future national candidates -(1) What would you do to save the world?

    (2) How would you do it ONLY with the party approved tools ?

    (3) Who is your objective favorties to win this years “big” electdion?

    (4) Which of the parties top 3 social issues will you promote most vigorously?

    (5) What is your most captivating personal experience that you can reduce to a overly obvious and pandering political lesson ?

  • oddjob

    They do and they don’t. I pay enough attention to politics generally that by the conventions I’ve usually already decided what candidate I’m going to vote for, but I also use the conventions as a way to gauge the present general perspectives of the major parties.

    I haven’t voted for a Republican candidate for president ever since the 1992 Republican national convention. I had just the year before begun to come to terms with the reality that I was a gay man and as a consequence that convention was just the most appalling thing I’d ever witnessed.

    It was just disgusting. I still find the Republican Party to be so.

    I’ll consider them again when this paranoid, insane, vile, juvenlie incarnation of the GOP goes out of existence and I’m sure I’ll get a good handle on that occurence through paying attention to their political conventions, just as I have up to now.

  • Patrick

    Possibly. Was thinking of voting for Nobody. Nobody keeps their campaign promises. Nobody listens to my concerns. Nobody cares for the poor and unemployed. Nobody tells the truth. You see, if Nobody is elected things could be better for everyone.