The Ohio State University at Newark


Ohio State Newark Professor Analyzes RNC First Night on Fox 28

The Ohio State University at Newark Associate Professor of Political Science Nathaniel Swigger, Ph.D., analyzed the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) this morning (July 19) on Fox 28's Good Day Columbus. Swigger researches American politics with an emphasis on public opinion polling, political psychology, campaigns and elections, and media analysis.

“We usually expect candidates to get a three to four point boost in the polls after a convention. This is a priming effect due to the large amount of media attention that the candidate gets during convention week. It is not, generally, a long-lasting effect, and there are reasons to think that this might be an odd year for convention effects,” said Swigger. “Both candidates already have near-universal name recognition. Normally, the conventions are a chance for candidates to introduce and define themselves, but both candidates are already well defined. There is also the chance that these conventions may be weaker than usual, some of which we saw on the first day of the Republican convention.”

The 2016 Republican National Convention is missing a lot of the most prominent officials in the party including Ohio Governor John Kasich and U.S. Senator Rob Portman. Swigger said the Governor of the host state usually speaks at the convention, and the decision by Governor Kasich to miss the RNC shows that there is still a great deal of divisiveness within the party.

“A lot of Republican politicians have chosen to distance themselves from Trump, and the campaign isn’t taking a conciliatory tone,” said Swigger. “Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said that Governor Kasich is, ‘hurting his state and embarrassing his state.’”

Swigger said many of the speakers who were on the stage during the first night of the convention took a tone of fear and anger, talking about how America is facing great danger. However, another issue came up after the speeches were finished for the night. Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, is being accused this morning of plagiarizing First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech from the Democratic National Convention eight years ago. It’s an allegation the Trump campaign is denying.

“This points to the lack of organization surrounding the Trump campaign. This could have been avoided with a simple Google search,” said Swigger. "If voters start to view Trump as incompetent that would be a major blow to his campaign."

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