Distressed Democrats Look to Obama to Boost Turnout
Updated June 3, 2010 12:01 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last month, Democrats held a “superdelegate” convention that sought to boost turnout from the party’s super-heavy turnout advantage. Last night, they held a convention of their own.
That the two parties held separate conventions in the same week, with the Democratic convention held Saturday-Monday in Charlotte, N.C., and the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., may have been an attempt by Democrats to bring to the convention more attention to the party’s turnout effort and to gain a little bit of face time in the debates with Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee.
President Obama is heading to Charlotte for what is essentially his Super Bowl, and he will be making appearances with prominent black leaders during his trip, which also will include making an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and a visit to his son’s high school in Milwaukee. The president will have two rallies Saturday night in Charlotte, at which he will join with black religious leaders to discuss police abuse of minority youth and to discuss economic issues, including the auto industry bailout and the need to cut taxes.
This is Obama’s first trip since the GOP convention, and it comes a month after a party conference that took place in Tampa to try to boost turnout among Democratic voters. The Tampa gathering, billed as a summit of the Republican Party, saw the party leaders including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and former Arizona Sen. John McCain.
The Democrats, meanwhile, held their convention in Charlotte amid protests over the first national debate between Romney and Obama, which the Democrats complained was more of a “debate than a debate.” The Democrats were protesting because they wanted to see a second national debate and thought it was a good idea.
Both parties are planning to have “superdelegates,” super-registered party members who can vote for the candidate of their choice, at their conventions and both are counting on those superdelegates to be the deciding factor