Obama Gets His Bounce
Barack Obama has gotten his predictable (in the sense that I predicted it) bounce in the polls after having emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee and Hillary Clinton formally conceded and backed him, helping begin the healing process within the party. According to the latest Gallup poll, he’s up 48-42 nationwide among registered voters. Indeed, Obama is at least nominally ahead of McCain in every single poll tracked by RealClearPolitics, with an average lead of 4.2 percent.
Andrew Sullivan notes that this is Obama’s “strongest showing to date in the Gallup poll.” That’s technically true but misleading: The two candidates have been steady, fluctuating only within the margin of error, since it became clear that Obama would win.
Indeed, Daniel Larison is surprised at just how small the bounce is.
Kevin Drum, meanwhile, is willing to “bet that Obama never has much less than a five point lead for the rest of the campaign.” That’s plausible but unlikely. My guess is that Obama will build a double digit lead over the next few weeks as Democrats coalesce around him but that his numbers will fluctuate dramatically based on events on the ground. McCain will almost certainly get a convention bounce late. Beyond that, Obama will make the inevitable gaffes candidates make during a long, grueling campaign and he’s more prone to embarrassing revelations than McCain simply because he’s less of a known commodity.
UPDATE: And, yes, as commenter vnjagvet points out below, John Kerry had a much larger lead four years ago than Obama does now. Indeed, as I noted a few days ago, it would have been a a Kerry landslide win had the election been held May 29, 2004. The gap had narrowed slightly by four years ago today but Kerry was still projected to win 312 electoral votes to Bush’s 226 on June 9. Those same projections show it Obama 287, McCain 227 today.