Dave of Political Prognostications picks up on a theme we discussed on Friday: that Kerry’s speech played far better to the conventioneers than the television audiences at home. But as Steve Green wrote:
Well, “I was there” is exactly the problem with analyzing Kerry’s speech. How many people who were there did Kerry need to sway?
Correct answer: Zero.
Kerry needed to move some portion of the estimated 25 million Americans watching tonight. How many did he convince to vote for him? How many did he convince at least enough not to vote for Bush? How many people did he move into the Bush column?
I have a feeling this speech was much like Nixon’s 1960 debate performance: the quality of which all depends on perception. If one were to have listened to Kerry’s speech on the radio or seen it at the convention in the middle of thousands of screaming Democrats, I can imagine one would get the impression that Kerry had hit a home run. But the vast majority of people saw the speech on television. That means they saw Kerry hush the crowd. They saw him sweat profusely. They saw up close how uncomfortable he was. They saw his inability to connect with the folks. Like the Nixon/Kennedy debate, I suspect that pundits like Matthews will be changing their tune on this speech over the next few days.
Interesting analysis (especially given the lack of bounce we’re seeing today); read the whole post.
(Via Betsy Newmark.)