Was there a bounce?

There was, indeed, at least according to Rasmussen:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 44% of the vote. . . .Just prior to this past week’s Republican National Convention, Romney trailed the president by two. Today’s four-point advantage confirms that the GOP hopeful has received the expected convention bounce. Romney also has gained ground in the swing state tracking results.

Just before the convention, I predicted a bounce of 4 to 6 points. As the convention went on, I thought this might be too optimistic. Not because the convention was going badly; as my posts show, I was quite satisfied with most of the proceedings from a political standpoint.

The problem, I thought, might be a lack of interest in the proceedings among the public. And I still wonder whether Romney’s bounce was as substantial as the Rasmussen results suggest.

Can the Democrats reasonably expect a pro-Obama bounce this week? I believe they should anticipate a bounce of about half of whatever Romney actually received. As the party in control of the White House, and with the MSM dutifully espousing something close to their line week-in and week-out, viewers have been well-exposed to what they will witness this week. Thus, I expect the Democrats’ show to have less of a positive impact than did the Republicans’ presentation, which included a fresh VP candidate and a presidential candidate who had been trashed far more than the evidence could sustain.

But the Democrats have their talking points. For one thing, they can remind people of how bad things were when Obama took over. They need to do this carefully, so as not to appear to be ducking all responsibility for the current woes. Nonetheless, the reminder of what the world looked like in January 2009 has some potency; that’s why Republicans like Paul Ryan had to acknowledge the point last week.

The other, more potentially potent talking point consists, in essence, of bashing Romney-Ryan for favoring the rich, especially through tax policy. Conservatives like to believe that class warfare doesn’t work. But if so, how do we explain the enormous tax burden that has been placed on upper income folk and the fact that so many Americans in the bottom half of earners don’t pay any income tax? In reality, class warfare often works up to a point, and it may well be worth a point or two of bounce this week in Charlotte.

To the extent, then, that Romney picked up 4 to 6 points last week, I think it’s reasonable to expect Obama to get 2 to 3 of them back this week. But we’ll see.

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