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In Tampa, the most-talked about appearance was actor-director Clint Eastwood’s performance with an empty chair meant to symbolize President Barack Obama. In Charlotte, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their platform to add a mention of God and to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after Mitt Romney and other Republicans hammered away at Democrats for the omissions.

Mr. Woodhouse said another surprise may be in store in 2016: One or both parties might go back to a four-day convention instead of sticking with three days or shrinking them even further.

• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.