September 8, 2008

Final Convention-Bounce Numbers

Hatched by Dafydd

The first completely post-GOP convention releases of the Gallup and Rasmussen daily tracking polls are now available; this allows us to calculate the net bounce from the Democratic and Republican conventions... who won the "battle of the bounces?"

As we promised, here they are:

Gallup Daily Tracking
Poll release date Obama McCain Advantage
August 25th 45 45 Tie
September 8th 44 49 McCain +5


Rasmussen Daily Tracking (without leaners)
Poll release date Obama McCain Advantage
August 25th 46 42 Obama +4
September 8th 46 47 McCain +1


Rasmussen Daily Tracking (with leaners)
Poll release date Obama McCain Advantage
August 25th 48 45 Obama +3
September 8th 47 48 McCain +1


Average of Gallup and Rasmussen (without leaners)
Poll release date Obama McCain Advantage
August 25th 45.5 43.5 Obama +2.0
September 8th 45.0 48.0 McCain +3.0

To summarize:

  1. Before the Democratic convention began, a rolling 3-day average from Gallup found Barack H. Obama tied with John S. McCain; the same poll released today -- with all respondents having had a chance to see McCain's and Palins' acceptance speeches -- has McCain ahead of Obama by 5 points.
  2. The equivalent polling numbers for the Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll (not counting leaners) finds McCain going from a deficit of 4 under Obama to an advantage of 1, again a movement of 5 points.
  3. The average of these two polls shows McCain skyrocketing from a deficit of 2.0 before the Democratic convention to an advantage of 3.0 at this point. As predicted by Big Lizards, it was McCain, not Obama, who came out of the conventions with a significant net bounce of +5.0.
  4. Even more spectacularly, in the polls taken entirely in between the two conventions (September 1st), Obama had received a bounce of 2.5 (from 2.0 to 4.5); thus the full bounce that John McCain received from both the announcement of Sarah Palin and the convention is 7.5 points. Obama got a 2.5-point bounce from his convention, while McCain received a 7.5-point bounce from his (hence the net of 5 points).

This is what happens when voters actually get a look at both candidates, each putting his best foot down.

I mentioned our prediction from August 22nd; this is what we wrote:

I have a feeling this is going to be a very disappointing "bounce" for the Democrats this year, just as I (correctly) predicted the same for 2004. I think Obama's bounce is going to be no more than a jumping flea... say, 5% at most; and it will be gone by the time the GOP convention begins on September 1st, just four days after the Democratic convention ends.

Contrariwise, a lot fewer people know anything about John S. McCain, other than the disrespectful and risible caricature pushed by the elite media and by Obama himself in campaign ads. I suspect that a lot more truly undecided voters will watch the Republican National Convention, many of them moderate Republicans, independents, and even moderate Democrats; and they will come away much more favorably impressed by McCain than they were beforehand. Therefore, McCain will get a bigger bounce from the GOP convention than will Obama from the Democratic convention.

We were right; he did.

But let's expand to other polls. The Real Clear Politics average of all polls on August 25th -- the last day when all polling was conducted before the Democratic convention -- showed Obama with a 1.6 lead (45.5 Obama to 43.9 McCain); today, the RCP average shows a McCain lead of 3.2 (45.4 Obama to 48.6 McCain) -- a bounce of 4.8% for John McCain. (You can find the historical average for any date by hovering your pointer over the histogram and sliding left or right until you reach August 25th; the upper part will tell you the actual averages, the bottom only tells you the spread.)

This 4.8-point bounce matches up perfectly with the 5-point bounce from the two tracking polls, indicating that they are not out of line; this is real movement being picked up across the board.

Here is another point to mull: In this campaign, John McCain has been a "closer;" he went from a big deficit to victory at the end. McCain's primary campaign was dead in the water by July of 2007; but he came roaring back, of course, winning in Florida, New Hampshire, and North Carolina just six months later. The next month, he won a majority of states on Tsunami Tuesday, knocking Mitt Romney out of the race a couple of days later.

Note: Mike Huckabee hung on, but only because he nursed the hope that he would pass Romney in the delegate count, ending the campaign in second place, rather than third. Had he done so, it would have set him up to be the Republican front-runner in 2012.

He didn't; he remains in third place with 267 to Romney's 274 -- even though Huckabee campaigned for months after Romney dropped out of the race!

Barack Obama, by contrast, started out way ahead; but then it was Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 100%) who came back strongly, almost taking the nomination away from the One. In fact, were it not for the huge lead that Obama had built up in early caucus states that were "winner take all," Clinton would almost certainly have been the nominee.

McCain is already ahead; if the general campaign follows the same pattern as the two primary campaigns, then John McCain will expand his lead before the final vote.

McCain is now in very good position not only to win the race but to do so convincingly, something that President George W. Bush could not do in either of his two victories: In 2000, the vote was dead even; and even in 2004, he won by only 2.4% nationwide. In neither case did the president even crack 290 electoral votes out of 538 possible: 271 in 2000 (one point more than the smallest majority possible) and 286 in 2004.

By contrast, in Bill Clinton's two elections, he achieved 370 electoral votes in 1992 (receiving 5.6% more total votes than President George H.W. Bush) and 379 in 1996 (8.5% ahead of Sen. Robert Dole).

If McCain wins this election by, say, 6-7 points, he will almost certainly receive more than 300 electoral votes, probably more than 350; with no significant third-party candidate, to suck away votes, he will be at 53%; and he will definitely have coattails in the House and Senate races.

That would be a resounding victory. Though it will not silence the Democrats -- they will once again claim the election was "stolen" from them (this is so obvious, I don't even count it as a prediction) -- it will indelibly pin a powder-blue "L" on their frocks... L for liberal; L for loser.

Time to replace our dilithium crystals, recharge our ki, and redouble our efforts; let no one rest until John S. McCain charges across that finish line.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 8, 2008, at the time of 4:08 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Karmi


Now...let me go a check it out.

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2008 5:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

..In this campaign, John McCain has been a "closer;"

..Barack Obama, by contrast, started out way ahead; but then it was Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 100%) who came back strongly, almost taking the nomination away from the One.

OK...sounds great. The old 'Tortoise and the Hare' scenario, or better yet, the 'Old Bull and the Young Bull'. Great job and I agree that it is not time for relaxing, i.e. it's time to "redouble our efforts!"

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2008 5:34 PM

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