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Published September 05, 2012, 09:23 PM

Locals react to heated political atmosphere

(WDAY TV) -- President Clinton is just the latest in a number of high profile speeches over the past two weeks. So how are people reacting locally to these politically heated past 10 days?

(WDAY TV) -- President Clinton is just the latest in a number of high profile speeches over the past two weeks. So how are people reacting locally to these politically heated past 10 days?

With one day left at the Democratic National Convention, we're nearing the end of this late summer political fire-storm. But with two months left until the election, are these convention speeches swaying the mind of voters?

Jim Danielson/Retired MSUM Political Professor: "The conventions themselves only have a marginal impact for one candidate on support for one candidate or another."

For retired MSUM Political Science Professor Jim Danielson, it's been a disappointing year so far for true political debate.

"It didn't work then and it won't work now."

Obama vs. Romney.

"President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform."

Berg vs. Heitkamp.

"But it's Rick Berg who's doing things the Washington way."

It's almost all negative.

"Right out of the box with these old fashioned negative ads."

Danielson: "Rather than promoting a particular agenda or set of public policy, they're attacking their opposition, sometimes in a very personal way."

Danielson says it's a two-way street when it comes to negative ads, and now - it's turning away everyday voters.

Danielson: "Had a lot of informal conversations with people who say I'm so sick of all that's going on, I'm not even watching what's going on."

Paige Petersen: "The other candidates are being really rude about the other ones. I wish they would just stand up for what they believe in rather than what the others believe in more so what they believe in."

But that doesn't mean people aren't watching these contentious conventions.

Phyllis Vancroft/Fargo: "Just interesting the interaction between people if they are calming down and becoming civil with each other for a change."

Ultimately, Danielson says, the election will be decided in the next two months by the very people who are paying close attention to these conventions.

Danielson: "That is the extent to which they end up being motivated to go out and work for and spend time and make calls and knock on doors and so forth for members of their political party in particular the presidential candidates."

Danielson says the race for president is still very much wide open with poll numbers for both candidates falling within the margin of error.

But says campaigns as volatile as these two could likely lead to a drop in voter turnout.

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