ANALYSIS: With Tropical Storm Isaac expected to strengthen and make landfall just hours after Tuesday's proceedings at the Republican National Convention come to a close, many Americans here and at home will be watching with one eye focused on the political action in Tampa and another firmly fixed on the churning 800 mile wide storm.
The convention is moving forward as planned but organizers stress that they have the flexibility to adjust the schedule as needed.
Republican officials had already taken steps to squeeze the four-day convention into three, and on a conference call with reporters yesterday Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer emphasized, "we expect no change over the next three days."
He acknowledged, however, that both GOP and campaign staff were monitoring the weather situation "very closely" in case any adjustments in programming or tone are needed.
Already the Romney campaign has made one additional change to the schedule -- a very important one. Instead of arriving ahead of his speech on Thursday, Mitt Romney will now fly to Tampa today to be on hand for his wife Ann's speech on this first full day of the RNC.
The campaign has yet to publicly release details of exactly what Romney will do tonight. But it's almost certain that we'll hear Ann Romney make the case why women voters should back her husband. While Democrats are in full-out attack mode on the GOP ticket over issues like abortion, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's controversial comments about rape, and birth control, the economy remains the most important issue to women.
But, as our latest ABC News-Washington Post poll shows, there is a big gender gap on this issue that Romney needs to bridge. While 56 percent of men think that Romney would do a better job handling the economy than Obama, women are evenly divided. Forty-seven percent think Obama would do better compared to 45 percent who believe Romney is the better man for the job.
A majority of women (52 percent) think Obama "better understands the economic problems people in this country are having" compared to 42 percent of men.
Ann Romney's biggest challenge tonight is not simply to try and convince women voters that he's a good man, husband and father, but that he feels their pain on the economy and can do something about it.