Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 Election in Review: August 2012

Each month, Elephant Watcher recaps the activity that occurred in the general election during the previous month. Follow these links to read recaps from the Republican primary and general election: May 2011, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January 2012, February, March, April June, July.

August continued the lazy summer trend of inactivity in the presidential race until about midway through, when Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan for vice president on August 11th. The choice inspired a mix of reactions from seasoned political observers; Ryan carried serious baggage in the form of his unpopular "Ryan Plan", while not having a natural constituency that he would bring with him, as other "risky" picks would have.

But in the wake of the Ryan selection, Barack Obama's campaign utterly failed to inflict damage upon the Republican ticket. Instead, the Romney/Ryan campaign launched a preemptive counter-attack on Medicare, accusing Obamacare of raiding hundreds of billions of dollars from the program.

Heading toward the convention at the end of the month, the Republican ticket appeared to be energized. However, the national election polls showed that the race continued to be a dead-heat, essentially unchanged all summer.

The Republican National Convention was held in the final week of August. By all accounts, the convention appeared to be a success. It's unlikely Romney could have delivered a better speech than the one he gave, and there were no mishaps. Nevertheless, the true test of a convention's success is whether and to what degree a candidate receives a bounce in the polls. With no post-convention polling available until next week, the outcome is an open question.