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The Only Voters the DNC Appealed to Was Democrats

Milwaukee, August 2020. The Milwaukee stage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. (Photo Credit: Alex Hanel/DNCC)

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

From August 17-20th, 2020, the Democrats held their Democratic National Convention, where they officially nominated Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President. They also used the convention as a platform to appeal Republicans, Progressives, religious, and family voters.

Throughout the entire event, they talked about healthcare, gun control, abortion, religion, family, voting, civil rights, and more. The convention tried to appeal to specific groups like religious people and family voters. However, some may say the Democrats failed to appeal to voters outside their loyal base.

First off, the convention tried to appeal to religious people because some of President Trump’s base is composed of mainly Evangelical Christians and other various religious people. Therefore, the Democrats attempted to chip away at that base by giving air time to pastors, priests, and nuns. These various religious figures expressed their support for Biden because Biden is a strong Roman Catholic. Some may argue that when Kennedy ran in the 1960s, his catholic background was seen as a negative aspect of his campaign. However, since then, the country has generally accepted Catholics in politics. For example, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is Catholic, California Governor Gavin Newsom is Catholic, and the majority of the current nine Supreme Court Judges are also Catholic.

Yet, to appeal to religious people, one has to address abortion. Since the national legalization of abortion in the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision, religious people have been staunch pro-life activists and have remained unconvinced that Biden has the correct position on abortion. According to a recent Gallup poll, 72% of people who attend weekly religious services are pro-life. Furthermore, 56% of Christians and 55% of Catholics are pro-life.

Biden has openly stated he believes abortion is morally wrong but legally justified. He has flipped his position on Roe V. Wade and the Hyde Amendment, which bars giving federal tax dollars to abortion clinics. Unless Biden becomes pro-life again, he will not gain the religious vote.

The other appeal the Democrats tried to make was to the Republicans, which was a little bit more successful than their religious appeal. They allowed a few Republicans that voted for Trump in 2016 who are now voting for Biden in 2020 to speak. I still thought that was an ineffective strategy to get the conservative vote because the people they brought on were obvious political minorities. However, the DNC highlighted the relationship between John McCain and Biden, which may have turned some conservatives because McCain was arguably a staunch conservative.

The truth most modern-day Republicans do not want to admit is that the Republican party has been becoming less conservative since they nominated Trump. Even so, Trump has arguably been the most conservative President since H.W. or Reagan, but Trump has constantly advocated for government overreach, isolationist foreign policy, and overt nationalism. Trotting out McCain as an ally of Biden may have appealed to some right of center Republicans because McCain represented a Republican party that was truly conservative.

Conservatives will also remember John McCain and Trump are two sides of the Republican party coin. McCain represented a traditional conservative viewpoint on economics and foreign policy, with the exception of healthcare, and Trump represents his own growing ideology within the Republican Party. 

While it is obvious that Biden is significantly more liberal than Trump on basically every major policy, highlighting Biden’s ability to work with the late conservative giant may have suggested Biden will bring conservatives to the table. While it is somewhat optimistic of a conservative to think that, it could be just enough to push Republicans who long for a return to a conservative GOP over the edge.

The last major appeal the DNC tried to make was to progressives, which was mediocre in its attempt. The problem with democrats appealing to progressives is that there has been some dicey history between the two factions within the party. First off, some progressives felt the Democratic nomination was stolen from Bernie Sanders by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Since Clinton lost the general election, there was major criticism from the Progressives, which led to them ask, “What if Sanders was the nominee?”

Then in 2020, Sanders supporters once again thought the nomination was stolen from him. In the beginning, it was believed that Sanders would win the nomination easily because he won major democratic caucuses like New Hampshire while Biden did horribly. However, when Biden won the South Caroline primary, every single major candidate dropped out and endorsed Biden. Through this consolidation behind Biden, Sanders was decimated on Super Tuesday and the following primaries. 

If Biden were to lose this election, there will be a reignited division between moderate Democrats and the progressive wing of the party, represented by people like AOC. 

In reality, the only people the Democrats may have successfully appealed to were voters who care deeply about family. One of the few things the DNC succeeded in doing was painting Biden as a charismatic family man who cares deeply about his children and grandchildren. Furthermore, one of the best speeches in the entire convention was from Jill Biden who was effective in being seen as a loving and accomplished mother. This role and visage will attract the suburban housewife vote.

To add on, Trump is the literal opposite of Biden when it comes to family. Granted, Trump can say he also cares about his children and grandchildren, but his history shows he has neglected the importance of marriage and has cheated on his wives. In 2016, Hillary’s marriage to Bill may have turned off suburban housewives, but this time, it may be that Trump’s past, juxtaposed with Biden’s,  will convince white suburban housewives to vote for Biden.

Overall, the main objective of the convention should have been convincing voters why Biden is better than Trump. However, many speakers did not make the case for Biden but, instead, used their sixty seconds to bash Trump. This paints Democrats in a concerning light because their campaign slogan seems to be “At least we are not Trump,” which is not a particularly strong message to run on and may not be enough for moderates to vote for Biden.

Next week, we will hear the Republican’s case for why the country should continue its faith in a Trump Presidency.

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

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