The conventional wisdom on conventions is just plain wrong

These week-long political infomercials reliably fail to sway undecided voters or offer any tangible plans for the future of American governance

Edward Morrissey

The eight most dishonest words in the English language are I hate to say I told you so. Two weeks ago, I wondered whether national nominating conventions had any relevance at all in today's news and communications environment. After a fortnight of pontification, confusion, and media saturation, the answer is… no.

That's not just my opinion, either. Gallup conducted a survey of more than 1,000 adults over the two days following the end of the Democratic National Convention to determine which convention had the most impact. In practically every measure, the conventions produced no net change in anticipated voter behavior. After the Republican convention, 40 percent said they'd be more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, while 38 percent said less likely, with 21 percent saying the convention had no real impact at all. For Democrats, the numbers are 43/38/20, respectively. Both sets of numbers are within the 4 percent margin of error, producing a complete wash.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.