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FROM THIS EPISODE

Mitt Romney is now officially the GOP candidate for president. In his speech accepting his party's nomination, he tried to accomplish a number of things – present a more "human" side of his personality, rally the base with tough talk on the economy and foreign policy, and reach out to swing voters. Did he pull it off? Guest host Judy Muller takes a look and considers what the Democrats may be planning as a strategy to counteract the week of relentless attacks from the GOP. Also, federal courts strike down two Texas voting laws, and the convention as television production. Did Clint Eastwood upstage Mitt? A look at the  ratings and the spectacle.

To the Point is broadcasting live from the Republican convention all week. You can find all our coverage at KCRW.org/election2012.

Banner image: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan acknowledge applause during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Evan George
Caitlin Shamberg
Sonya Geis
Anna Scott
Frances Anderton

Making News Federal Courts Strike Down Two Texas Voting Laws 7 MIN, 36 SEC

For opponents of voter ID laws, a victory in Texas. For the second time in three days, a federal court ruled that Texas violated the Voting Rights Act, by enacting a voter ID law that improperly limits the ability of minority citizens to cast a ballot. Texas will appeal the decision, which prevents the state from enforcing its voter ID law in the November election. Chuck Lindell reports for the Austin American Statesmen.

Guests:
Chuck Lindell, Austin-American Statesman (@chucklindell)

Main Topic Did Mitt Romney Manage to Woo Undecided Voters? 33 MIN, 11 SEC

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had a tough challenge facing him last night in Tampa. He had to seem more likeable – polls show he trails President Obama in this area – and he had to rally his Republican conservative base, while reaching out to those all important swing voters who voted for Barack Obama last time around.  His strategy was unusual: he struck a tone of sympathy for those who have been disappointed with the president. He also touched on his Mormon faith, something he has avoided doing for much of the campaign, talked about all the women he'd appointed to jobs in his administration when he was Governor of Massachusetts and, in one rather emotional moment, recalled his mother and her decision to run for the senate. What did the Republicans accomplish in Tampa and how will the Democrats respond when they gather next week?

 

Guests:
Barton Gellman, Washington Post (@bartongellman)
Kristine Haglund, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@galluppoll)
John Feehery, QGA Public Affairs (@JohnFeehery)
Karen Finney, Democratic stragetist (@finneyk)

Polling Matters

Frank Newport

Reporter's Notebook How Did the RNC Play as Event TV? 10 MIN, 13 SEC

For some time now, political conventions have been planned with the television audience in mind, becoming week-long scripted commercials, essentially, aimed at selling the candidate to the electorate. So, was anyone watching this week, outside of Romney supporters and political pundits? As the Democrats prepare to stage their week-long commercial, what should they do to get that audience tuning in? Include Honey Boo Boo? Have an empty chair for the President to talk back to? We ask former Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten and Variety's Ted Johnson.

 

Guests:
Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Daily News
Ted Johnson, Variety (@tedstew )

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