How many people are actually watching the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida? And will all the pomp and circumstance there make a difference to voters in Nevada? According to UNR Political Science Professor Eric Herzik, not many, and probably not.
"I actually turned the channel and watched football after the Governor spoke," he said today from his office at UNR. "These conventions are so predictable. It was a contrived string of speakers that were good cop bad cop. One would bash (President) Obama, the next would tell a story of achievement here. Governor (Brian) Sandoval willed the slot for an up and coming fresh face and a Latino. He was well received, but even he has said one good speech won't change the way Hispanics think overall. And I was bored with it all."
The most surprising thing about the convention was the group of Ron Paul supporters in the back of the huge center. And oddly enough, Nevadans were involved. In February's caucus it was decided that 20 votes would be cast for Mitt Romney and 7 for Ron Paul. Yet Nevada's delegates reported in voting for Ron Paul.
"I didn't know it was going to happen even two minutes before the vote was called for," said David Buell, President of the Washoe County Republican Party, who is there attending the convention. "They voted 17 for Ron Paul, five abstentions and 5 for Romney. But that breaks the party's rules and disenfranchises the caucus from February. "It's been straightened out now, but most of the delegates were mad and left before Governor Sandoval spoke."
Buel says that left only four Nevada delegates on the floor when Governor Sandoval took the stage.
"It's just another part of the problem with the Republican party," said Herzik. "They are split and so there just isn't that enthusiasm at the convention."
David Bell says whether it's coming through on TV or not, it is exciting there and he's happy to be a part of the process.
The convention continues Wednesday night with Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan set to deliver tonight's keynote speech.