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Obama gets bigger 'bounce' than Romney did, but it’s more like a 'blip'

Post-convention polling shows a modest 'bounce' for President Obama, which is better than Mitt Romney did last week.  But the race is way too close to call, and many voters remain undecided.

By Staff writer / September 8, 2012

Supporters listen to President Barack Obama speak during a campaign event at the University of Iowa on Friday in Iowa City, Iowa.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Early returns are in, and it looks like President Obama got more of a poll bounce right after his party’s convention than Mitt Romney did out of the GOP’s big event.

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Gallup’s daily tracking poll for Friday put Obama's job approval rating at 52 percent, the highest it’s been since the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama has also moved to a three-point lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters (48-45 percent), up from Obama's one-point margin over the last nine days.

“It is possible that these upticks are short-lived and that the race will devolve back to a parity by next week,” Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote in his morning-after analysis. “On the other hand, if Obama builds on and sustains his higher job approval rating and lead over Romney, it could signal a possible resetting of the presidential race as it enters the remaining three-and-a-half weeks before the first debate on Oct. 3.”

By comparison, Romney’s standing bounced not at all after last week’s Republican convention.

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Morning-after convention polls can evaporate pretty quickly, and Friday’s grim jobs report just hours after Obama’s convention speech Thursday night may hasten that. Plus, post-convention bounces going back to 1964 have averaged a healthier five points. Still, an upticked three point plus for Obama in a very close race can make the difference between a second term in office and packing his bags for Chicago come January.

A fuller picture of recent polls brings a mixed picture for Obama (and for Romney).

An Ipsos/Reuters Poll sees “the beginning of a convention bump for the President.” Obama is up 2 points to 46 percent and Romney down one point to 44 percent among likely voters.

In addition, according to Ipsos/Reuters, Obama’s ratings on his personal attributes have increased across some metrics: “Tough enough for the job” is up 4 points to 42 percent; “Represents America” is up 4 points to 44 percent; “Will protect American jobs” is up 4 points to 40 percent; “Can be effective in Washington” is up 4 points to 38 percent; “Presidential” is up 3 points to 45 percent; “Understands people like me” is up 3 points to 44 percent; and “Has the right values” is up 3 points to 44 percent.

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