Articles and Analysis


Bounce Update (Part II)

Topics: Bounce , Bump , Conventions , Gallup Daily , Rasmussen

I spent a fair amount of time pouring over the national surveys out this week for a Convention Daily column that should appear later tonight or early tomorrow morning (I'll add a link when it does - column available here). And all things considered, I think we have more to learn about the impact of the conventions -- or at least from last week's convention -- from the "internals" in those surveys than from the daily twitches in the rolling-average tracking surveys.

Many, however, are taking note of the fact that both the Gallup Daily and Rasmussen Reports surveys reported Barack Obama gaining slightly to new highs today: 50% and 51%, respectively. Moreover, our national trend chart -- partly reflecting the daily tracking surveys and party the other national surveys released this week -- now shows the Obama number climbing to a new high (48.8%) and McCain steady at 43.6%.

It is tempting, very tempting, to read today's small moves in the daily tracking as a reaction to Sarah Palin. I just want to be a voice of caution: It may be no more than random noise around a plateau in a post-convention bounce for Obama. Keep in mind that there is always a 25% probability that on any given day, both daily tracking surveys will move in the same direction. The Republican convention is just now getting underway in earnest. Come this weekend, the numbers will likely take yet another turn.



Mark: "Keep in mind that there is always a 25% probability that on any given day, both daily tracking surveys will move in the same direction. The Republican convention is just now getting underway in earnest. Come this weekend, the numbers will likely take yet another turn."

Wouldn't that be a 50% probability? The 25% probability is that they will both swing up.

But here again the critical thing is just how much and the causation of those upswings. I'd give more credence to the Rassmussen poll, which even increased their proportion of Republican participants, as actually reflecting a real change based on the Palin controversy...rather than a "convention bounce".

At the same time we have to recall that there was a clear effort by McCain to weaken that bounce by making the Palin announcement on Friday. So that some of Obama's increase might have been dampened by increased support from the evangelical Republican base "the waverers", coming to support McCain.
If there is a "blowback" from the Palin announcement I suspect that it will come in the next two or three days. That could mean that Obama's numbers may go up further.



Also, although some polls asked additional questions about the impact of McCain's selection of Palin as VP...many of the polls don't seem to link Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin as the choices in their question about choices for President-VP.

Does that have an effect, I wonder?


Florida Voter:

Bounces will come and go over the next 7-10 days. I figure by 9/15 the polls will look and feel better and that the next bounces will be during the debates. The trends continue to favor Obama. McCain is making this election all about him instead of trying to get what he stands for in front of the American people. I have no clue what's going to change under John McCain versus GWB. The last 8 years have been horrid.



I'm not surprised to see Gallup Tracking move up for Obama on a Tuesday as it generally does every week, but Rasmussen was a surprise to me, and their party ID weighting causes it to move much less, yet it moved.


Some thoughts on the Republican convention:

1. The Republicans are on the defensive with the Palin pick and have not figured out the right talking points yet. Somone could make a drinking game out of it: you have to take a drink each time someone says she is a "reformer" (without explaining how, and to hear of her executive experience she is more qualified to be president than McCain). You have to chug every time Hannity complains about media bias. The bar has been set down to the ground, will she trip over it in her speech Wednesday night? My guess is no, but this will be the first time in her career (I believe) that she has to deliver a teleprompter speech to a hall of 10,000 and a national television audience.

2. McCain is clearly trying to rebrand the Republican Party the McCain Party. Geesh...talk about celebrity and the cult of personality.

3. The message was muddled. I actually laughed out loud when Bush praised McCain on fiscal responsibility. To hear it, a McCain presidency is the one he wish he had. Thompson gave a well-delivered red meat speech and reminded me that the Republican Party has speakers who can deliver lines as good as the Democrats, but he was followed by Lieberman who gave a tepid speech that reached out to moderates and Democrats. I wonder how much of this muddled message was a consequence of the Republicans losing a day to Gustav. Lieberman should have gone on Day 1 with the soft-sell bio material and Day 2 should have been more table pounding and preaching to the base.

How will this affect the polls? The polling shows that Republicans are already behind McCain and the polls seem to indicate the Obama bounce is coming from consolidation of Democrats behind Obama. If this is the case, the McCain bounce will likely be less than Obama's since he can at best hope to marginally consolidate his already consolidated base.

A larger bounce scooping up independents and Democrats can come if McCain is successful in redefining the Republican Party as the McCain Party. I'm truly curious how he will do this and if he will be successful. Perhaps he is counting on Palin to be the symbol for this new Republican Party. I know she has taken a lot of hits in the blogoshere, but I think back to the Democratic convention and how the bar had been set so low for the Clintons. I wonder if Democrats are doing Palin a favor by doing the same for her. We will know after Wednesday.



The selection process for VP was the first major decision made by both candidates. Another factor is judging candidates is how they manage their campaigns and conventions. The DNC was a four day WOW! It will be very interesting to see the full impact of McCain's selection of Palin for VP and the TV soap opera start of the RNC. Will McCain pay as high a price in the polls as Palin's family is paying? It is very tragic that no one appears to be caring about the emotional cost of placing Palin's family and oldest daughter in the national media limelight.


Nick Panagakis:

On another subject, I keep seeing poll findings that show how many Democratic Primary voters who voted for Clinton would now vote for McCain in the General.

Are any of these pollsters asking the same of Republican voters? I haven’t seen any.

Seems like the foregoing figures would be more meaningful if we knew how many GOP Primary voters who voted for someone other than McCain would vote in the General.

McCain did wrap up the nomination much earlier than Obama so he has some advantage here, but some comparative is necessary so we can make some sense of the Dem primary voter cross-over numbers.




Yesterday's Obama Convention bounce in both polls is the delayed/retained Obama convention bounce after the initial Sarah Palin bump (Palin 1) in Saturday's polling passed through the 3 day poll (+2/3% est)

We may see a Palin 2 bump or dip in reaction to all the ongoing vetting revelations in today's trackers!

Palin 3 tomorrow and Friday depending on how the speech goes down.

But VEEP picks don't normally impact the polling and so far apart from solidifying further the Repub base Palen apparently hasn't.

Every thing else is Palin into insignificance at the moment apparently amongst the politicos - pardon the pun!

The McCain Convention Bounce or Dip (I am forecasting dip of 2)from Saturday thru Tuesday.




I make the average 49.4% Obama 41.8% McCain +7.6% Obama

These were yesterday's published polls
National Gallup Tracking Obama 50, McCain 42 Obama +8
National Rasmussen Tracking Obama 51, McCain 45 Obama +6
National USA Today/Gallup* Obama 50, McCain 43 Obama +7
National Hotline/FD Obama 48, McCain 39 Obama +9
National CBS News Obama 48, McCain 40 Obama +8




You do mean "poring," right? If not, what was it that you were "pouring" over the polls? ;-)

I guess we can't expect you to be a crackerjack polling guru AND a grammarian at the same time!



Omitted the ARG National 49 Obama 43 McCain apologies

average 49.33% Obama 42% McCain +7.33% Obama

Range of 6 polls (MoE 1% one would think!)



thoughtful, why re post your own analysis here too?

please, a discussion of the pro's analysis here, yours at the other thread(s).


Mark Lindeman:

@Michael: I'm not sure you would want it on your conscience if anyone took you up on that drinking game ;). In the matter of Palin=Reformer, at least, Republicans seem on message. Mostly off-topic: when I heard the CBS Radio news this morning, I was struck by their emphasis on the pregnant daughter as the scandal story about Palin. I think she arguably benefits from that story. (Unfortunately we don't get to rerun her candidacy 'the other way' in order to find out.)

Yeah, on paper it seems harder for McCain to match Obama's bounce, and it should be interesting to watch the attempt.

@jac13: Back in the day, Mark B. jokingly called himself "Mystery Speller." Just one of those things.




This thread is a discussion on the Bounce 2 and particularly what affect Palin has had on the Dem Convention Bounce.

A. the speculation and announcement early on Friday which effectively and successfully hijacked the news cycle from Obama's Speech.

B. the drip drip and torrent of Palin revelations from Monday onwards in MSM. Mark seems to be very tempted to speculate that may have enhanced the bounce.

I think that their was like a small Palin Pig in a Python that passed through the trackers Saturday, Sunday, Monday hence yesterday's numbers.

The different poll stats are anecdotal.

I hope you now comprehend the discussion going on.



@ Nick

That is a very good point. I'd really like to see Republican crossover numbers to Obama too.


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