As Republicans and Democrats get their shot at prime-time television coverage, Republican candidate for Washington state governor Rob McKenna said he doubts the national conventions have much impact on local races.
“People are focused on what’s happening in the state, you might see a marginal impact on federal races in some states, because they’re federal. But in the state races, not so much,” McKenna said.
Polls show McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee are in a dead heat, despite the fact that President Barack Obama has a significant lead over Mitt Romney in Washington state.
The McKenna campaign, recognizing Obama’s lead in the state, is urging Democrats to consider crossing over for the governor’s race.
Ron Dotzauer of Strategies 360, who has run Democratic campaigns in the past, said conventions may not have a direct impact on local races, but they do affect a party’s overall “brand.”
This week however, a new Gallup poll finds Romney received virtually no bounce after the Republicans’ Tampa convention.
“The public is saying this is not going to help me make up my mind anymore on who I’m going to vote for President,” Dotzauer said.
As Democrats converge on Charlotte for their convention, Dotzauer said it’s Obama’s chance to bridge the enthusiasm gap.
“He wants to deliver a speech to say, I still trust this guy to lead this country for the next four years. And if he does that successfully, he’ll get a bigger bounce than Mr. Romney did,” Dotzauer said.