The Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll has suggested a modest convention bounce for John Kerry. The candidates have been more or less tied for a long time, with the lead going back and forth within three points either way. For the last three days, Rasmussen has shown Kerry with a three-point lead, which could be considered a slight bounce, since the candidates were tied going in. On the other hand, you could say that it wasn’t really a bounce at all, since Kerry also recorded a three-point lead shortly before the convention started. Or you could say it wasn’t really a lead at all, since the poll’s margin of error is, I believe, 3%.
In any event, Rasmussen uses a three-day rolling total, and today was the first day that would reflect (albeit only in part) any reaction to Kerry’s acceptance speech and the wrap-up of the convention. The result: Kerry’s lead dropped to one point. Which means, I guess, that yesterday’s polling had to be pretty bad for him.
So we’ll keep watching, but it appears that Kerry’s convention bounce will be minimal if not non-existent. I don’t expect Bush to get any perceptible benefit from the Republican convention either, even though I think more people would be favorably impressed if they actually saw it. The problem is that hardly anyone is watching; most people learn about the conventions not by seeing them, but by seeing them discussed on the network news. The news coverage of the Republican gathering will be more negative than the softball coverage the Democrats got, especially if the protesters act up, and that becomes the main story line, as I’m afraid it will.
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