Conventions don't matter, and mean even less

Since they decide nothing, only about one in five unaffiliated voters tunes in for most of the convention coverage. Even the major networks, themselves products of a bygone era, have figured this out and have limited coverage to an hour a night. Only 14 percent of all voters wish there were more.

This creates an odd dynamic where political reporters and pundits watch the festivities as if they matter. They then analyze each speech and comment as if persuadable voters are paying attention. Their impressions of the convention then influence future coverage of the campaign.

That would make sense if voters trusted reporters, but they don’t. Only 22 percent believe reporters even try to offer unbiased coverage of political news. Instead, the general public sees most reporters as activists trying to help their favored candidate. Most believe reporters are so in the tank for their team that they would bury a scoop rather than release information that might hurt the cause.