Republicans and Democrats are both using the same argument to gin up enthusiasm among jaded voters

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Democrats Court Both Left and Center Voters

PHILADELPHIA — Following a dark and occasionally rocky Republican convention in Cleveland last week, Democratic planners wanted to strike a different, more harmonious note.

But as raucous protesters shouted over convention speakers and refused to fully embrace the call for unity, some Democratic lawmakers began making an argument familiar to audiences watching the Republican national convention: Think about the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders' former supporters will coalesce around Hillary Clinton once they realize that Donald Trump's election could put several conservative justices on the court.

"If one or two or three or four young, radical conservative people were placed on that court, everything the Bernie supporters care about would be at risk," Strickland told Business Insider at an event with climate activists. "If they have a brain and really thought it through — I'm sure they do have brains, they're bright people — they would understand the consequences of pulling back and not getting on board with Secretary Clinton."

Speaking on a panel on Wednesday, Rep. Keith Ellison urged holdout Sanders supporters to envision what the court would be like if Al Gore would've beaten George W. Bush in the 2000 election, appointing liberal supreme court justices.

"This is a very serious situation that we're in," said Ellison, one of Sanders' most high-profile supporters in Congress.

"The stakes couldn't be higher when it comes to the Supreme Court. From a constitutional standpoint — if you supported Bernie, if you believe in a fair economy, if you believe in criminal justice ... then there's not way you're going to let Donald Trump become president."

SEE ALSO: Mike Pence has first run-in with protesters in Lima, Ohio

Many Democrats say that raising awareness of Senate Republicans' refusal to allow hearings to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died is a winning strategy. Hart Research, a polling group that conducts surveys for Clinton-aligned groups, found in a June survey that 50% of voters said replacing Supreme Court justices was a very important consideration in their presidential vote, up from 30% in 2012.

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Notable guests at the 2016 DNC
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaks on stage as her daughter Chelsea and husband Bill, look on, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Katy Perry performs at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Former Reagan Administration Official Doug Elmets speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Division among Democrats has been overcome through speeches from two presidents, another first lady and a vice-president, who raised the stakes for their candidate by warning that her opponent posed an unprecedented threat to American diplomacy. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen speak during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Division among Democrats has been overcome through speeches from two presidents, another first lady and a vice-president, who raised the stakes for their candidate by warning that her opponent posed an unprecedented threat to American diplomacy. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Pete Escovedo, left, and Tito Puente Jr. of Sheila E + Family perform at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: U.S. Senate candidate from Pennsylvania Katie McGinty speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Representative James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Division among Democrats has been overcome through speeches from two presidents, another first lady and a vice-president, who raised the stakes for their candidate by warning that her opponent posed an unprecedented threat to American diplomacy. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Carole King performs at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., claps as LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Sarah became the first transgender person to address a national political convention. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 28: President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Musician Sheila E rehearses before the start of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Division among Democrats has been overcome through speeches from two presidents, another first lady and a vice-president, who raised the stakes for their candidate by warning that her opponent posed an unprecedented threat to American diplomacy. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hugs U.S. President Barack Obama as she arrives onstage at the end of his speech on the third night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley speaks during day three of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Dr. Jill Biden introduces her husband Vice President Joe Biden during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Former Representative Gabby Giffords walks to the podium with her husband Mike Kelly during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher Drew Leinonen, who was killed in the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Brandon Wolf (left) and Jose Arraigada (right) are survivors of the massacre. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Actress Sigourney Weaver addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Television personality Star Jones addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUlY 27: Washington Post reporter Margaret Sullivan, right, interviews comedian Samantha Bee at the Washington Post Live space on the third day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday July 27, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Singer Idina Menzel (L) joins the Stars of Broadway to perform 'What the World Needs Now' honoring those killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Actresses Debra Messing (L) and Kristen Bell join the Stars of Broadway to perform 'What the World Needs Now' honoring those killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Actress Angela Bassett delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Rosie Perez (R) joins the Stars of Broadway to perform 'What the World Needs Now' honoring those killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Director/Producer Lee Daniels speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention-Day 3 at Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
Democratic vice presidential candidate Time Kaine and his wife Anne Holton wave to the crowd following his address to delegates on Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: Musician Lenny Kravitz performs at the 2016 Democratic National Convention-Day 3 at Wells Fargo Center on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama waves after speaking during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Former candidate for President Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Bill Clinton, former U.S. President, waves during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Television personality Stephen Colbert smiles while performing on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center ahead of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Sunday, July 24, 2016. A heat wave has settled over the City of Brotherly Love as tens of thousands of delegates converge on the city for the Democratic National Convention. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Comedian Sarah Silverman, right, reacts on stage with Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Eva Longoria speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Boyz II Men perform on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Singer Demi Lovato performs her song 'Confident' on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, waves after speaking during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, pauses while speaking during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Joe Kennedy, a Democrat from Massachusetts, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Singer Paul Simon performs at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, speaks while on stage with Lee Saunders, president of the AFSCME, center, and Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), right, during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Singer Bobby Hill performs during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Gabrielle 'Gabby' Giffords, former U.S. Representative from Arizona, speaks on stage during a walk through before the start of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, smiles on the floor during a walk through before the start of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Actress Meryl Streep speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Actress Erika Alexander speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, waves while arriving on stage during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Actress Debra Messing waves while arriving on stage during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Actors Lena Dunham, left, and America Fererra speak during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) flanked by the House Democratic women and candidates, waves to the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards speaks the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Singer Andra Day performs during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Mothers of the Movement, those who have lost children to police violence, take the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, Donna Brazile delivers remarks on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Actress Elizabeth Banks smiles while speaking during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice Presidet Joseph Biden, stands on stage during a walk through before the start of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Democrats began their presidential nominating convention Monday with a struggle to fully unite the party, following a dramatic day of internal squabbling and protests. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Further, recent surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that many voters in swing states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania don't trust Trump to fill the vacancy.

Earlier this year, the Republican presidential nominee released a list of candidates he would consider to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Many Republicans lauded the potential choices, many of which came straight off a list of potential nominees compiled by the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

For their part, Republicans lukewarm about Trump have justified their support for the nominee by citing the liberal threat to the court.

SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama doesn't think Donald Trump is good for kids

In a recent interview with NPR's "Morning Edition," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the potential Supreme Court vacancies as the number one issue that ought to change Republicans' minds.

"The single most important thing I would remind right-of-center voters in suggesting that they vote for Donald Trump is: Who do you want to make the next Supreme Court appointment?" McConnell told NPR.

"Donald Trump has already put out a list of 10 or 11 right-of-center, well-qualified judges, a list from which he would pick. I think that issue alone should comfort people in voting for Donald Trump for president.

The majority leader echoed the sentiment in his speech at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

"Tonight I ask you to continue — let us continue our work. Let us put justices on the Supreme Court who cherish our Constitution," McConnell said.

NOW WATCH: Watch Hillary's brutal attack ad showing children watching Trump's controversial statements

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