Convention Bounce Expectation Spin
Challenger John Kerry, who according to campaign sources is expected to announce his running mate this morning, will lead President Bush by 15 points when the Democratic convention wraps up at the end of July, according to a top Bush campaign adviser. In a memo to campaign leadership Monday, Matthew Dowd, Bush’s chief strategist, said Kerry is about to benefit from “the average challenger’s bounce.” “We should expect the race to swing wildly to his favor by early August,” Dowd, who remains confident Bush will win, said in the memo.
Current polls show a dead heat, but Dowd said Kerry could be up by a 55 percent to 40 percent margin in early August. Dowd also noted that Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe predicted Sunday that Kerry would be up by 8 to 10 points following the convention. Dowd told campaign officials that history shows a challenger always gets a “dramatic, if often short-lived” bounce from the convention and the selection of a running mate.
My guess is the convention bounce will be less than usual, given ever-decreasing network coverage of the convention, the fact that the buzz from the Veep pick will be well over with by then, and the diminished number of true undecideds compared to previous races.