A sign is left on the chairs as delegate leaves after the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP

Trump throws the RNC under the bus

Donald Trump on the Republican National Convention, one week ago today:
“One of the best produced, including the incredible stage & set, in the history of conventions. Great unity! Big T.V. ratings!”
Donald Trump on the Republican National Convention, now:
Asked about the differences, Mr. Trump said he could not speak to them with much specificity, because “I didn’t produce our show – I just showed up for the final speech on Thursday.”
One starts to get the impression that perhaps the Republican nominee’s enthusiasm for last week’s gathering has waned.
And it’s easy to see why.
For anyone who watched almost any of the two party gatherings, there was a striking difference in tone and substance, and Republicans struggled on both fronts. But there are also the quantitative differences to consider: when it comes to television ratings, to everyone’s surprise, the DNC topped the RNC in each of the first three nights. (Last night’s ratings are not yet available.)
Vox’s Dylan Matthews explained, “This is more than just a campaign setback for Trump. It’s a setback that cuts right to the core of what Trump considers valuable about himself.”
[T]he idea that Clinton and her team are bigger names, that they’re bigger draws for TV viewers, suggests that Trump is wanting as a brand, as a TV personality. And he really, really does care that people think he’s a compelling TV attraction, that he puts on a great show.
By damaging Trump’s reputation as a showman, the DNC’s superior ratings don’t just hurt him in the election. They undermine a key source of his economic success more generally, should he lose the election and throw himself back into the entertainment game.
The next question, of course, is whether there’s a correlation between convention ratings and election results. The short answer is, not really.

Nevertheless, I suspect when it comes to where the parties stand as the general election begins in earnest, Democrats are likely pleased to have won this round.