Both experts agree that southwest Pennsylvania is going to play a key role in the upcoming presidential election.By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — These back-to-back political conventions are now over. So did they make a difference here in this region?

Political editor Jon Delano spoke to local political strategists from both sides to get some answers.

Held during a pandemic, both the Democratic and Republican Conventions were unusual, to say the least. And the television audience for each convention was down about 20 percent this year over 2016. But local analysts think Joe Biden and Donald Trump did what they had to do.

A Democratic political strategist says the Democrats’ mission was clear.

“Joe Biden is on the side of working people and to show that he has empathy and cares about people. And I think they were able to accomplish that,” says Mikus.

Coupled with something he says Trump lacks — Biden’s plan to get us out from under this pandemic.

“He has a plan to return life back to normal,” Mikus says.

But Republican political strategist Mike DeVanney says Republicans were also successful at their convention by focusing on what he calls the Democrats’ socialist agenda and redefining Biden.

“When Republicans talk about those issues, that’s when people start to come home,” notes DeVanney. “And people start to come home because they’re voting their economic interests, their security interests.”

Trump just wants to distract from his own character, Democrats say, and redefining Biden won’t work.

But both analysts agree on one thing.

“A lot of this messaging was to suburban housewives and families,” says DeVanney.

Suburban women have been trending for Joe Biden over Donald Trump with many polls showing a double-digit gender gap.

DeVanney says issues of crime and economics will bring the suburbs back to Trump, but Mikus says Trump is his own worst enemy.

“The problem he has, especially with suburban women, is that they view him as somebody who is narcissistic, doesn’t care about voters, and out of touch and also lacking a temperament,” says Mikus.

But both analysts agree with this view of the importance of this region.

“I think Southwestern PA is going to be really the key to the Keystone State,” says DeVanney.