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Obama gets decent post-convention bounce

By Jimmy Orr / September 1, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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The spinning began even before the convention started.  If the John McCain people were right, following Barack Obama's acceptance speech, the post-convention bounce would be higher than a basketball bounced on the moon.

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The McCain camp released a memo stating they were expecting Barack Obama to receive a 15 point bounce following the convention.

"On Thursday, Obama will give a great speech, as has been his trademark," the memo stated.  "The press will sing his praises and remark on his historic address and Obama's place in history. ...  This coverage will be impenetrable and will undoubtedly impact the polls. ... We believe Obama will see a significant bump, and believe it is reasonable to expect nearly a 15-point bounce out of a convention in this political environment."

The Obama camp countered that this was all about raising expectations so if they failed to receive such a boost, political observers could say the Democratic Convention was a bust.

"Presidential races are close, and we expect this one to be no different," said Obama campaign aide Robert Gibbs. "But they should figure out how to spin the fact that John McCain owns a dozen houses and thinks the fundamentals of our economy are strong before trying to spin our convention."

In fact, the 15 point boost was not realized.  It wasn't likely.  Since 1964, the average bounce for a Democratic nominee is just over seven points.  In the first three-day tracking report completed since the convention was completed,  Gallup shows a 49 percent to 43 percent advantage for Obama, which equates to a four point bounce.

"Comparing Obama's current 49% support with the 45% he received immediately before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week suggests he received a 4-point bounce out of the convention, fairly typical of past convention bounces. Aside from the past few days, Obama has only once previously attained 49% support from national voters, and that was in late July."

The four point increase is on par with what President George W. Bush received last time and a marked increase over Senator John Kerry's bounce (zero).

Gallup also suggests that McCain's increase from 41 percent to 43 percent translates into a vice presidential selection bounce.

The Obama campaign say they don't pay attention to national polls anyway.  Last week, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said they focus on just two things: the key battleground states (they’ve identified 18 of them) and making sure that Obama supporters get out to vote.

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