This post originally appeared on NBCLatino.
There are no longer smoke-filled rooms where the nomination of a candidate is haggled over. This decision is wrapped up well before convention goers even set foot into the halls. The name of the game at conventions today is messaging. It’s about creating a message framework that gives voters a road map for how to process the information–ads, debates, speeches–that will be pumped out to them in the next two months. It boils down to putting out the most user-friendly message and in this go around, the Democrats got it.
At its core, messaging is an exercise in psychology, providing voters a context (in psychological lingo, a schema) to understand the campaign. The strengths and weaknesses of the content of the Democratic and Republican ideas can be debated elsewhere. But what I want to focus on here is the messaging approach. The Republicans failed to provide an easily accessible conceptual framework for the campaign. In contrast, the Democrats provided a more encompassing, relateable framework.
The Republican message was one of absolutes: 1.) government is inherently bad 2.) ideology trumps pragmatism 3.) citizens are better off on their own. In contrast, the Democratic messagewas grayer, one that did not present itself as either black or white. The Democratic message took a middle ground of: 1.) shared responsibility and shared opportunity 2.) government serves all in many ways 3.) equity equals power. (more…)