We’ve nearly reached crescendo night at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Florida, with its flag-waving furor, truculent speeches and over-the-top patriotism. Though we haven’t yet heard from presidential wannabe Mitt Romney, observations can be made about a few constituent groups:

Women: Obviously, the GOP extravaganza kicked off a week early with the unplanned and seismically ignorant remarks of one Missouri Sen.Todd Akin. The ensuing controversy over his “legitimate rape” remark put a giant and unwanted focus throughout the convention on whether the GOP ticket can woo the votes of women. Both Romney and running mate Congressman Paul Ryan have shown unabashed support for the plan to defund Planned Parenthood, and both candidates back proposals that would take away a woman’s right to choose. All the backpedaling and gender groveling in the world won’t change this. Polls indicate women fundamentally don’t trust conservative Republicans with issues related to their health and independence, and since everybody knows that women turn out to vote in larger numbers than men, even in swing states … you do the math.

Seniors: By putting an extremist like Ryan on the ticket, the GOP managed to take voters’ attention off of jobs and the economy (where President Barack Obama is vulnerable) and put it on social issues (where he is not). D’oh! Despite the plethora of white-haired patriots festooned all red, white and blue in Tampa, the spotlight has shifted, for example, to Ryan’s extremist proposal to put Medicare on a reduced voucher “premium subsidy” system. Also, the GOP push to privatize Social Security is suddenly back on the docket for discussion—all because of Ryan. These are third-rail issues for seniors any way you slice it.

Students: The cost of college has climbed faster than the rate of inflation the last four years, but Romney and Ryan seem to lack the resolve to do much about it except to emphasize “job growth” for the graduates. Really? How underwhelming. Meanwhile, Romney’s budget plans would slash education spending by 20 percent, and Ryan’s budget—the one that passed out of Congress but didn’t make it in the Senate—would have cut a whopping $115 billion for the Department of Education, costing 1 million students their Pell grants. It’s true, students aren’t onboard the Obama train like they were four years ago, but the more the contrast becomes evident, the more the students will show up.

The middle class: We heard plenty of Sturm und Drang in Tampa about balancing the federal budget. Yes, the Romney-Ryan ticket wants to cut taxes massively (while sparing defense spending), and they are going to do this by eliminating tax expenditures—like the home-mortgage-interest deduction. Why should this upset middle-class folk? Because they own most of the homes. In fact, this deduction, worth $100 billion, is the largest middle-class tax expenditure in the budget with more than 35 million Americans claiming it. Though Romney doesn’t get specific about where he’d cut, the savings he seeks in the federal budget basically don’t materialize, as Paul Ryan is well aware, unless he goes after the mortgage break. That’s a big mistake, if you’re trying to woo the middle class.

So, bring on the election! And look for lots more GOP pandering to women, seniors, students and the middle class before we hit November 6.