Like Cleveland, Philadelphia featured intra-party dissent. But it was tempered with the active assistance of Clinton's primary rival Bernie Sanders, who offered a strong prime-time endorsement.
The Democratic convention featured an all-star line-up of speakers: Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, assailing Trump as a fellow Republican billionaire businessman, declared him unfit to be president compared to the "sane, competent person" running against him.
Hillary Clinton, characteristically methodical, soared the least among them. Her lengthy speech ticked through a series of objectives.
She praised Sanders and appealed to his supporters. She outlined an ambitious domestic agenda and vowed to pay for it by taxing Wall Street and the wealthy because "that's where the money is." She contrasted her national security expertise and steady temperament with Trump's inexperience and volatile personality. She extended a hand to dissident Republicans and independents who find him unacceptable for the party of Lincoln and Reagan.
Did Clinton — disliked and distrusted by so many after a quarter-century on the national stage — make herself acceptable to those wavering voters in the center? She tried, by explaining her motivations to help others grounded in her childhood and faith.
Yet changing voter perceptions is difficult at this stage of her career. A large chunk of the Republican electorate is as viscerally opposed to her as Democrats are to Trump.
The effects of these strikingly different conventions won't become clear for a while. Polls in a couple of weeks will provide a more accurate gauge than instant surveys.
But in a country polarized by race and ideology and partisanship, all signs point toward a race that will remain close at least until the next marquee events ahead of Election Day 102 days from now: candidate debates this fall.