In a post yesterday, I argued that Romney’s decision to stiff the Tea Party would result in less enthusiasm and a diminished convention bounce for the Mittster. Although I believe it’s still a bit early to accurately measure Romney’s convention bounce, it’s pretty evident that it will be modest at best, and won’t last very long. Here’s some analysis from two individuals who analyze political polls for a living:
A modest bump in popularity for U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney from this week’s Republican Party convention looks to be short-lived, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Democratic President Barack Obama regained a narrow lead on Saturday by 44 percent to 43 percent over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Romney, in the latest daily installment of the four-day rolling poll.
Romney was ahead by one point in Friday’s online poll and two points in Thursday’s survey as his campaign came under a blaze of media attention at the convention in Tampa, Florida.
In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Romney urged voters to get behind him and help rebuild the economy. His address followed three days of speeches by Republicans, including testimonies from Romney’s relatives and friends aimed at improving the image of a candidate who is often seen as stiff or aloof.
“This wasn’t a lightning bolt convention,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said. “Comparatively speaking, this was a more muted convention in general … So it doesn’t surprise me that (the bump in polls) wasn’t a great deal bigger.”
We’ll need to wait another day or two before we can make a more confident judgement on the size of Mr. Romney’s bounce, but the information we have so far points toward its being a little underwhelming.
The FiveThirtyEight “now-cast”, which does not adjust for the bounces associated with the party conventions, estimates that Mr. Obama would have a 72.3 percent chance of winning if the election were held today. That’s essentially unchanged from before the conventions, when the number had ranged between about 70 percent and 74 percent.
One way to interpret the trend in the “now-cast” is that, so far, Mr. Romney’s bounce is hard to distinguish from the statistical noise that we ordinarily see in polls. Based on the data that they published on Saturday, Mr. Romney’s standing in the Rasmussen poll was two points better than its 60-day average, but it was one point worse than average in the Gallup poll.
In summary, the magnitude of Romney’s bounce is somewhere between random statistical noise and middle single digits, and did nothing to improve his chances in November. The Reuters poll indicates it may already be fading. Again, it’s important to understand that it’s still early and things could change (Rasmussen has him up by four this morning), but that doesn’t appear likely at the moment. (I suspect Romney’s bounce will rise a little bit more, then fade rapidly in response to Obama’s convention bounce.)
Mitt had a chance to create excitement at the GOP convention, and by snubbing the patriots whose energy and enthusiasm delivered the House to the GOP in 2010 he failed miserably. I don’t know how many millions of dollars Mitt’s blowing on the army of consultants and handlers who advised him to ignore the Tea Party, but it’s too much. Way too much. If the Mittster continues to listen to these geniuses, what chance does he have in November?
We have been monitoring the potential impact of the Republican convention on the presidential race on a day-by-day basis. So far, we don’t see an impact. We report a seven-day rolling average of registered voters each day, each of which is based on more than 3,000 interviews. This reporting period is a very purposeful decision on our part — even if a bit more “sluggish” than if we reported a three- or four-day average. The longer average dampens down short-term changes, and puts more of an emphasis on sustained changes.
The seven-day average has been at 47% Obama, 46% Romney for the last five days. As a matter of fact, both Obama and Romney for the most part have been at or around 46% since we began tracking in April. The latest Gallup average covers Aug. 26-Sept. 1, or Sunday through Saturday. That for the most part covers the GOP convention, albeit with only two days of polling completely after Thursday’s climactic events, including Mitt Romney’s speech, and actor Clint Eastwood’s appearance.
At this point, as noted, there is no consistent change in the pattern of vote intentions within our Daily tracking. Each of the two candidates has been up at some point over the last week in the individual nightly numbers, but that’s normal. Romney so far has not been able to generate a sustained “bounce” from his convention over the last week.
Update II: Gallup on Romney’s acceptence speech:
Romney’s acceptance speech this year scored low by comparison to previous convention speeches going back to 1996. Thirty-eight percent of Americans rated the speech as excellent or good, while 16% rated it as poor or terrible. The 38% who rated the speech as excellent or good is the lowest rating of any of the eight speeches Gallup has tested since Bob Dole’s GOP acceptance speech in 1996.