Decision 2012

Aug 27, 2012 8:06 PM by Nathan O'Neal

National Conventions very different from how they started out

TUCSON - All eyes are on the Republican National Convention this week as the Republican Party gets ready to formally introduce their Presidential nominee.

However, not much is done in terms of actually selecting a nominnee at the convention, aside from the formality of it.

"They are still vitally important," said local political expert and professor at the University of Arizona, Kate Kenski. "But what they're used [for] today is to basically present to the general public who that party candidate is."

Kenski says the conventions are especially important because it marks the beginning when most of the public starts paying attention to the general election.

"This is really the time where the public spotlight is just shed on the one party and the party has an opportunity to present what they stand for," Kenski added.

Bruce Ash, a national committeeman for the GOP from Arizona, spoke to News 4 Tucson from Tampa, Fla. via phone. He compared the this stage in the political season to the stages of a baseball season.

"We've gone through the preseason and gone through the regular season, and now we're in the championship season," Ash said. "This is when most voters start paying attention when we're in the championship season, and we're going to finally have a chance to introduce Mitt Romney."

However, Kenski says the conventions are the party's real opportunity to control their campaign message and attempt to sway undecided voters.

"This is really an opportunity for both sides during both conventions to re-introduce themselves and hopefully get some exposure to independents," Kenski said.

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