Asked what he would say to Roberts, Geoff Garin, who polls for the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA, wondered by what measurement she concluded the Democrats had gone too far. He said he doesn’t think the language was strident but agreed that abortion was mentioned quite frequently. “Part of the media strategy at a convention is to repeat things so people who watch them episodically will get the point,” Garin said, adding that only diehard political junkies and people paid to watch see conventions in their entirety.

The implication is that real people, whom Garin calls civilians, wouldn’t be offended by repeated references to abortion because they would watch only some of the speeches. Even so, Charlotte represented a historic shift from past conventions, when Democrats downplayed social issues and blurred differences with the GOP on the hot-button issue of abortion.

What’s changed in the last four years, Garin said, is that the Republicans have moved so far right that there’s more room in the center for Democrats to highlight their pro-abortion rights policies. “In the politics of 2012, Obama very clearly has the high ground on the whole complex of women’s issues, including abortion and contraception,” he said. “It makes perfect sense to try to consolidate that advantage.”