Did the Democrats Accomplish Their Convention Goals?
Yes and no. People say that Conventions don't matter, but they do in this way: the debate is framed.
The Democrat goals and success at accomplishing them follows:
1) Move the polls: not much but enough. Romney had a slight bounce and Obama bounced in back. So about a net even but they hold power. The Republicans did not dislodge their lead.
2) Fire up your base: they definitely fired up their base who attended the convention but not sure about outside.
3) Reach swing voters: every day the tension between firing up their base would be contradicted at 10 o'clock for the national audience to try to reach swing voters. The super-rich versus everyone else theme seems to be working to a degree (whether I, or you, like it or not).
4) Defend their record: if you believe Bill Clinton, he mounted a defense of Obama's record. The key part there is "if you believe Bill Clinton." He's a great orator but never hire him as your accountant.
5) Outline future plans: Yeah right. Closest was the President saying that we might need some "experimentation" which basically means unconstitutional expansion of government, as Pat Miller pointed out right after the speech. Read Amity Shale's The Forgotten Man and be informed about the part of FDR Obama wants to clone.
6) Worst mistake: In multiple sections of his speech the President used almost identical language as Jimmy Carter in multiple places, far closer in word selection and more words than many reporters have been fired for. It is called plagiarism. Or, as the likely alternative (since it is hard to imagine anyone deliberately plagiarizing Jimmy Carter), Obama is Jimmy Carter II. He's not FDR, he's Carter. If he becomes Carter, then Romney has a chance to win. Huge mistake.
Political marketing lesson: Say something enough times in a big enough forum and it becomes a form of truth, that facts don't have an equivalent forum to correct.
Joe McCarthy did this with numbers of communists in government, which liberals mocked. But Obama repeatedly over-stated job numbers (which post-convention came out worse than expected) and touted manufacturing growth over & over (which Friday came out as dropping to the worst levels in several years). Whoops. But post-convention coverage overwhelmed the actual release of facts.