For three days, Republicans used their convention to fire up their conservative base but also to solicit support from former Barack Obama voters they believe can’t respond affirmatively to Ronald Reagan’s old question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Now, as Democrats prepare to begin their own three-day convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, the Obama campaign is preparing an aggressive response.

“The convention and the president have to reach out to middle-class Americans and assure them what he has been trying to do to turn the economy around has had an impact and lessened the terrible recession we faced when he took over as president,” said Walter Leger, a New Orleans attorney and Democratic convention delegate.

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the House budget committee chairman, came hard at the president and his policies during last week’s GOP convention.

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet . . . My promise is to help you and your family,” said Romney, suggesting the president erred by pushing regulations to reduce global warming and an overly bureaucratic health care overhaul instead of focusing on job creation.

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