Man Without Qualities

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Ah, The Bounce!

The Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll today shows Senator John Kerry with 47% of the vote and President George W. Bush with 46% - a full 1% lead for Senator Kerry! This rolling 3-day tracking poll (not my favorite) should now include samples from Thursday, when Senator Kerry gave his acceptance speech and yesterday. Sadly, we don't know how much (if any) of Thursday's sample was taken after or during that speech. But we do know that the New York Times thinks the Senator did a fine job of rousing the faithful!

Yesterday's Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll showed Senator John Kerry with 48% of the vote and President George W. Bush with 45%, the exact same numbers this Poll recorded on July 28 - in each case a 3% lead by the Senator for those days. So the Friday sample must have been bad for the Senator and/or the dropped-off Tuesday numbers must have been especially good.

In other words, Senator Kerry may be heading for a negative "bounce" from his convention and/or his speech. Previously, George McGovern was the only Presidential nominee ever to get no "bounce" from his convention. By some counts in 1972 George McGovern went into his convention down by 16 points and left it down by 19 - a 3% negative bounce. Others, such as the New York Times, say that McGovern got only a zero bounce. The same Times article notes: The Gallup Organization recently finished a study of convention bounces over the last four decades and come to the conclusion that there is indeed such a thing and that it is, on average, 6.1 percentage points. Gallup measures the bounce as the difference in the candidate's standing between the final preconvention poll and the first postconvention one.

But Senator Kerry's 3-day tracking poll lead fell by 2%, which means his one-day number on Friday may have fallen by 3% or more! In other words, Senator Kerry may now be in a historic position to boldly go where no candidate has been before - beyond the McGovern event horizon and all the way to the new world of negative bounce beyond 3%! And, as especially astounding feat, he may have accomplished most of this negativity on the very day of his acceptance speech. A fine job of rousing the faithful, indeed! BRAVO! SENATOR! BIS!

It's still too early to know definitively, and the Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll is, after all, just one poll. So nobody should get their hopes up too much.

But it's still so exciting to know one could be present at the making of history! I can hardly wait.

UPDATE: The Newsweek Poll is detecting a 2% positive convention "bounce" for Kerry-Edwards - which is even smaller than Zogby's 3% "bounce."


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