Obama’s Convention Bounce Becoming More Apparent

If the first round of post-convention polling is correct, President Obama may be pulling away from Mitt Romney.

In the wake of the Democratic National Convention, I noted late last week that President Obama seemed to be experiencing a statistically significant uptick in the Daily Tracking Polls. Nate Silver now observes that the movement in the polls since then seems to be significant enough to push the President into frontrunner status, a place that neither candidate has really be in since this campaign began in earnest:

On Friday, we began to see reasonably clear signs that President Obama would receive some kind of bounce in the polls from the Democratic convention.

Mr. Obama had another strong day in the polls on Saturday, making further gains in each of four national tracking polls. The question now is not whether Mr. Obama will get a bounce in the polls, but how substantial it will be.

Some of the data, in fact, suggests that the conventions may have changed the composition of the race, making Mr. Obama a reasonably clear favorite as we enter the stretch run of the campaign.

On Saturday, Mr. Obama extended his advantage to three points from two points in the Gallup national tracking poll, and to four points from two in an online survey conducted by Ipsos. He pulled ahead of Mitt Romney by two points in the Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, reversing a one-point deficit in the edition of the poll published on Friday.

A fourth tracking poll, conducted online by the RAND Corporation’s American Life Panel, had Mr. Obama three percentage points ahead of Mr. Romney in the survey it published early Saturday morning; the candidates had been virtually tied in the poll on Friday.

In the time since Silver posted this piece, we’ve seen another uptick for the President in a Daily Tracking Poll. The latest iteration of the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Track Poll, released just this morning, has the President at 49% to Governor Romney’s 45%, that is a doubling of the President’s lead as reflected in the Saturday numbers and, perhaps more importantly, a net gain of 8 points from the peak of a +4 Romney convention bounce that Rasmussen had recorded earlier this week. Gallup’s daily numbers will be released later today, and I would expect we might see the President’s four point lead in that poll increase by a point or two.

Clearly, the President is getting a more significant bounce from his convention than Romney did from his. Perhaps this is attributable to the fact that, by some accounts, the Democrats had a more successful convention than the GOP did, perhaps it’s partly because of Bill Clinton, and perhaps part of it is simply the fact that it came second and was scheduled after the Labor Day weekend, when more people were likely paying attention to the news reports about the race if not watching the convention itself.  Whatever the reason, though, it’s fairly clear that the President is benefiting from his convention. More interestingly, there doesn’t, as of yet, seem to be much of a negative impact from Friday’s thoroughly disappointing jobs report. Given the nature of Daily Tracking Polls, of course, the impact of those numbers may not show up for a day or two given the fact that we’ve only really had one full day of polling since the August Jobs Report was released.

For the moment, though, Obama seems to be establishing a more dominant lead than he has in the past. The RealClearPolitics average, which for the past week or so has been influenced solely by the Daily Tracking Polls since the major polls weren’t releasing anything during the conventions, now shows the President with a 1.6 point advantage. That’s not very large, but it’s a definite change from the days immediately before the convention when the average was effectively at a statistic tie. You can see the move toward Obama in recent weeks in the chart:

The other significant move that we’ve seen over the past several days is an uptick in the President’s job approval rating. President Obama above 50% in the Daily Tracking Polls for that question conducted by Gallup and within one point of that level in the most recent Rasmussen numbers, and much of the movement has come over the time period covered by the Democratic National Convention, and its aftermath.  Indeed, one can see a definite positive uptick for President Obama in job approval over the two week period covered by the conventions, most of it coming during and after the Democratic Convention:

Perhaps more importantly, though, one political analyst notes that Mitt Romney appears to have ended up with a negative convention bounce:

As I stated before, the GOP convention was of no help to them in the Electoral College. Indeed, it appears that the race shifted towards President Obama by 6-15 EV, or about 1.0% of Popular Vote Meta-Margin. From an analytical perspective, a negative bounce is quite remarkable because all the talk in recent weeks has been of bounces being smaller or zero, but always in the hosting party’s favor. It is all the more remarkable because of the relatively small number of state polls over the last week, so that the Meta-analysis’s inputs have not fully turned over (for discussion see comments). So the negative bounce may be larger than what is shown in the graph. Such an event would have been missed in past years (and even this year) because national polls don’t have the best resolution.

The natural question arises: why would the Republicans be hurt by their own convention? Two answers come to mind.

(1) The Ryan-VP bounce effectively used up whatever room there was for a bounce. This year, opinion seems to be fluctuating in a very narrow range: Obama up by 1.0-5.0%. Maybe there was no room for improvement.
(2) The GOP convention was not particularly inspiring. Indeed, the most notable event was Clint Eastwood’s empty-chair routine, which overshadowed Romney’s acceptance speech.

The first point seems to have at least some merit to me. If you go back to the beginning of August, you’ll see that Romney definitely did get a bounce in the polls from naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, although it didn’t last very long. Traditionally, Vice-Presidential picks aren’t announced until much closer to the convention, and this arguably has an impact on the ticket’s standing in the polls. John McCain, for example, didn’t introduce Sarah Palin to the nation until the Friday before the Republican Convention began and, by the time the convention was over, the McCain/Palin ticket had actually surpassed Obama/Biden in the polls and managed to stay there until mid-September when the financial crisis began in earnest. Arguably, the combination of a VP pick and a mostly successful convention helped McCain in the polls, while picking his running mate early meant that Romney had earned most of his bounce weeks before the convention and there wasn’t much higher to go.

Looking at the numbers, Silver believes that it’s likely that the President will end up with a statistically significant lead by the time the full effect of the conventions plays out:

Earlier in the week of the convention, before there was any data on the magnitude of Mr. Obama’s bounce, I used a series of golf metaphors to serve as a guide to interpreting the postconvention numbers. By that nomenclature, it now appears that Mr. Obama is on track for a “birdie” convention, meaning that he would exit the conventions in a somewhat stronger position than where he entered them.

The equivalent of a par score remains a possibility if Mr. Obama’s numbers cool off a bit, which they very well may, although that would be better thanMr. Romney’s bogey.

But there is also the possibility of an eagle, with Mr. Obama holding as much as an eight- to nine-point lead over Mr. Romney in the polls once they fully reflect post-convention data. His polls seem to have been about that strong since Mr. Clinton’s speech, at least.

Again, this is just the upside case for Mr. Obama — not the reality yet. But the fact that it seems plausible is a bit surprising to me. Very little has moved the polls much all this year — including Mr. Romney’s convention and his choice of Paul D. Ryan as his running mate, events that typically produce bounces. But Mr. Obama has already made clear gains in the polls in surveys that only partially reflect his convention.

As surprising as it might be, however, I do not see how you can interpret it as anything other than a good sign for Mr. Obama. All elections have turning points. Perhaps Mr. Obama simply has the more persuasive pitch to voters, and the conventions were the first time when this became readily apparent.

Perhaps it will be. It’s worth noting, of course, that we’ve seen bumps like these before and they’ve usually been short-lived. After a week or so at best, the numbers drop back down to the “Steady State Election” that we’ve seen since the race really began in April. It’s entirely possible that the President’s convention bounce will be just as short-lived as these other changes in the race have been. I tend to think that this won’t be the case, though. One of the reasons that the race remained steady for most of the summer is because large numbers of voters weren’t paying all that much attention to it. Now that we’ve entered the post-Labor Day period, though, and there are less than 60 days left before Americans go to the polls, and even less than that for states that have early voting, which starts as early as the first week of October in some locations. People are starting to pay attention to this election far more than they did over the summer I suspect, and that means that an uptick in the polls for either candidate is likely to be far more long lasting than it would have been in June or July. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the President maintain a steady 50% in National polling for several weeks, possibly leading right into the October debates.

Even the Romney campaign seems to be conceding that they are the underdogs at this point:

The Romney campaign, while pleasantly surprised by Obama’s lackluster prime-time performance, said the post-convention bounce they hoped for fell well short of expectations and privately lament that state-by-state polling numbers — most glaringly in Ohio — are working in the president’s favor.

“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.

The Obama and Romney campaigns anticipate little movement in national polls before the first debate on Oct. 3, which both see as the most important day of this campaign. They also see eye-to-eye on their belief the election will come down to whether Romney can persuade voters he understands the problems of ordinary people and that his solutions are at least marginally better for turning things around economically.

(…)

In the end, what gives both camps the sense that Obama is better positioned, is the map of 10 states they are fighting on. Two months ago, a top Romney official said they had to have at least one or two of these states in the bag, preferably Florida, to be on course to win. They don’t.

“Our problems are Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire,” a top official said. “Our opportunities are Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado. We can’t trade our problems for our opportunities and win the presidency. If we trade our problems for our opportunities, we lose.”

I noted the shrinking of Romney’s path to Electoral College victory on Friday. In the end, it’s Romney’s ability to win there that really matters, and there are several scenarios under which he could do so and yet lose the popular vote as George W. Bush did in 2000. The same thing could happen to Obama. For that reason, we’re getting close to the point where paying a lot of attention to the national polls isn’t going to be very informative about the true state of the race. What really matters is what’s happening on the state level, and Obama had a clear advantage there even before this apparent post-convention bounce began. If anything, it’s likely that a statistically significant rise in the national polls will trickle down to the state level and make Obama’s position there even stronger.

None of this is to suggest that the race is over. There is simply far too much that can happen over the next nine weeks to say that right now. Additionally, even if Obama heads into the October debates with a lead, it’s entirely possible that Romney could end up surprising everyone and changing the direction of the race completely. Admittedly, this isn’t necessarily likely, but it could happen. We could also see more serious signs of an economic downturn that erodes the advantage the President appears to be building up here. For the moment, though, the President seems to be surging ahead of Romney, and he already has a clear advantage in the Electoral College. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and some serious luck for Romney and his people to reverse that, I would think, and I’m not sure they have much of a chance of pulling it off.

Update: Gallup has just released it’s Sunday Daily Tracking Poll numbers, reflecting the addition of last night’s polling. President Obama leads Governor Romney 49% to 44%.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. I can’t help but see Mitt’s roll back on ObamaCare “repeal” and his move to RomneyCare “conversion” as an ill-timed move, for this reason.

    Post-convention, it’s a bad time to highlight commonalities in vision. That should have been done a year ago, so that the campaign could be about differences in vision.

  2. Jack Moss says:

    No doubt Obama’s getting the benefit of the conventions, but a couple of things to keep in mind. First, the pre-convention leader has won the last 12 of 15 elections, Gallup’s preconvention poll had Romney in the lead, by a point, but a lead none the less. http://tinyurl.com/9cvym68 Secondly as RS Erick notes, it’s usually about ten days before you get uncluttered numbers. Traditionally Friday weekend polls favor dems. I worked for a pollster for a couple of years and it’s sort of an inside joke. We’ll see. This is still about the economy and Romney has to get out the message that Obama’s plan hasn’t worked. In fact if you read the numbers we could actually say that we are now in a depression, not a recession. I doubt the numbers released on Friday have hit home yet. Secondly, the debates are king right now. There’s no teleprompter (had to), and Obama’s debate performance hasn’t always been stellar, and Romney owned the GOP field during the primary debates. He needs a strong performance.

  3. Woody says:

    After ingesting the conventions, I’ve come to believe that the GOP’s basic strategy of Obama = Fail therefore Vote Romney has an insurmountable problem: the policies advocated by the GOP haven’t appreciably changed since the W. Bush years.

    While the GOP can make W. magically disappear at a convention, or in their media, they can’t erase he or his policies from citizens’ memories.

  4. @Jack Moss:

    This is still about the economy and Romney has to get out the message that Obama’s plan hasn’t worked.

    Well, I think we know the drill. When Republicans “focus on the economy” they do one thing only. They say “it’s bad.” What would they do? They can’t tell you. They have no plan. They have a “budget” with 5.7 trillion dollars missing:

    Looking at a 10-year period through 2022, Vanke says Romney has not explained $5.7 trillion in tax changes and spending cuts.

    As I understand it (watching #mtp via twitter) Romney was just grilled on this and did not name one specific item.

    … so let’s “focus on the economy” huh? Did anyone mention that “it’s bad?”

  5. It does rankle that the Republican view of the economy is so zero-dimensional. I’d give them some respect if they named the 2007-2008 crash as an asynchronous event, and discussed alternative plans for recovery. But they don’t. That they carefully avoid discussing exactly what went wrong in that crash, and exactly what toll it took individual, business, and government balance sheets.

    The avoidance becomes the message.

  6. PJ says:

    @Woody:

    There’s no teleprompter (had to), and Obama’s debate performance hasn’t always been stellar, and Romney owned the GOP field during the primary debates. He needs a strong performance.

    The GOP field was so stellar. Not. I hear that he also owned some kindergarten debates….
    And you may want to rewatch Obama visiting the The Republican Congressional Caucus back in 2010. Romney’s handlers would be stupid not to.

  7. PJ says:

    @PJ:
    Sorry, that comment should have been a reply to Jack Moss

  8. Facebones says:

    Romney owned the GOP field during the primary debates. He needs a strong performance.

    Dude, talking parrots could own Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman in a debate. Set the bar a little higher.

  9. EMRVentures says:

    The GOP blew it by trying to criticize Obama by comparing him unfavorably with Clinton. They just set the Big Dawg up to draw ratings and knock it out of the park at the convention. They should have been smarter than to think that Bill Clinton at 66 was going to go Lieberman/Miller and turn his back on the Democratic Party, whatever personal feelings may or may not exist between him and the current candidate (and who knows what the truth is on that).

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack Moss:

    What numbers are you reading? We’ve had quarter after quarter of positive GDP. That equals neither a recession nor a depression.

  11. Jack Moss says:

    @john personna: No doubt Romney has to do a much better job at explaining the specifics. Obama can get away with being vague, the media won’t call him on it. Voters don’t need much to toss Obama, they know the economy sucks, and the numbers are worse than being reported. Again, as more light comes on them in the coming weeks numbers should even out or move Rommey to the lead, where he is consistently on the economy.

    Additionally Romney is now running, and plans to run a blitz of ads using those matching funds throughout the swing states and the rest of the country. Many of those will be chalk-talk kind of ads designed to break down the dismal economic numbers contained in that report. I predict they’ll be devastating to Obama in the long run.

  12. Jack Moss says:

    @Modulo Myself: GDP growth anemic at best. 1.5 average is basically stagnate. Mort Zuckerman, hardly a partisen has a good read of the real numbers and what they say. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444273704577635681206305056.html

  13. Jack Moss says:

    @PJ: prefer to watch Paul Ryan dismantling Obamacare in 6 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwFe_5cqcBI

    By the way one word of caution for the dems in the VP debates.

    Joe Biden (opps that’s two, like jobs).

  14. @Jack Moss:

    I certainly took you as being figurative with “we are now in a depression, not a recession.”

    It is kind of tragic though that you said, leading up to that In fact if you read the numbers we could actually say that.”

    Slow growth is actually an expansion, a recovery.

    And if you think Obama could have done better, you actually have to name the better plan. You can’t, unless you are just going for the idiot vote, say “bad, change to a random new plan.”

  15. @Jack Moss:

    You don’t understand, Jack. Obama has a detailed budget, here. We have a real problem that a gridlocked Congress won’t deal with it, but there it is.

    As that first link showed, it is both more detailed and more fiscally responsible than the Romney alternative.

  16. Tom Hilton says:

    In the end, it’s Romney’s ability to win there that really matters, and there are several scenarios under which he could do so and yet lose the popular vote as George W. Bush did in 2000. The same thing could happen to Obama.

    For whatever it’s worth, under Nate Silver’s model, the latter is much more likely than the former (if I understand correctly, because Romney has a lot of “wasted” support in states where he’s overwhelmingly ahead).

  17. anjin-san says:

    A Close Election But Romney Has Never Led
    Nate Silver notes that Mitt Romney has never held a lead over President Obama by any substantive margin in the polls.

    “That makes this an extremely odd election. You would figure that at some point over the past year, Mr. Romney would have pulled into the lead in the polls, given how close it has usually been. John McCain held occasional leads in 2008; John Kerry led for much of the summer in 2004; and Michael Dukakis had moments where he was well ahead of George H.W. Bush in the spring and summer of 1988. But Mr. Romney, if there have been moments when his polls were ever-so-slightly stronger or weaker, has never really had his moment in the sun.”

    “Instead, the cases where one candidate led essentially from wire to wire have been associated with landslides: Bill Clinton in 1996, Ronald Reagan in 1984, Richard Nixon in 1972 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.”

    “There is almost no chance that Mr. Obama will win by those sort of margins. But this nevertheless seems like an inauspicious sign for Mr. Romney. If even at his high-water mark, he can only pull the race into a rough tie, what pitch can he come up with in October or November to suddenly put him over the top?”

  18. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack Moss:

    Zuckerman’s article paints a dire structural picture, no doubt. But these problems aren’t new, or even directly tied to the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble. They come from income and wealth inequality, from the gap between an increase in productivity and actual wage increases, in the rise of health care costs to the point that it is fundamentally impossible to imagine growing old without the assistance of Medicare.

    The GOP and Romney have absolutely zero interest in addressing these. And I’m guessing as soon as President Romney takes his oath, 100% of conservatives will be happy to forget about any number except the unemployment rate.

    Also: did you note that Zuckerman’s solutions would be unacceptable (except for the quashing of regulations) if proposed by Obama? Does that bother you? My feeling is that the GOP’s reticence to believe that any government spending will help will end if Romney wins.

  19. anjin-san says:

    If Jack stands on one leg, bends over backwards, touches his nose, and closes one eye – he can see victory!

  20. @Modulo Myself:

    Zuckerman also does what is now a common cheat. He talks about the decline of headline unemployment (U3) and then says that U6 is more important.

    He does not explain that U6 is declining as well.

  21. JKB says:

    Dead cat?

    On the other hand, if you watched the Democrat convention, you saw that were devastating against the 3 1/2 years of President Romney’s administration.

  22. Modulo Myself says:

    @john personna:

    Thanks for pointing that out. Some sort of law about human beings must explain why the people who are most likely to believe that hidden away is a proof that Obama’s numbers are all lies will end up voting for the Romney, the guy who hasn’t bothered to hide away any of his own lies.

  23. @JKB:

    Dead cat?

    I prefer to think running out of gas.

    As someone tweeted during #MTP, Romney is now co-opting ideas from the Obama campaign to make progress. That’s like Zeno’s paradox or something.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    I’m not surprised by this. At risk of repeating myself: a little over half of people want the answer to be Obama. They just needed an excuse to go rushing back to him. Michelle and Bill gave them that excuse.

    All stories are not created equal, all characters are not created equal. There’s a hero in this story – a flawed, often difficult hero, but a hero nonetheless – and his name is Barack Obama.

    Mitt Romney has never been anything but not-Obama. Romney is playing the role that Ronald Reagan used to play in the movies: second fiddle. He’s the guy you might have to settle for. He’s the guy you know you can’t be truly happy with, but hey, life is about compromise, right? And giving up on Mr. Right and accepting Mr. Meh. (Sob.)

    I think nothing Romney can do will change the central story. Nothing Romney can do will make him the hero. He’s a poorly-written, badly-acted second banana. Only Obama or some catastrophic event can save Romney now.

  25. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jack Moss:

    First, the pre-convention leader has won the last 12 of 15 elections, Gallup’s preconvention poll had Romney in the lead, by a point, but a lead none the less.

    Why use this one particular result as demonstrating “the pre-convention leader”?

    Secondly as RS Erick notes, it’s usually about ten days before you get uncluttered numbers.

    What’s his evidence? There’s no support for this claim in public opinion research.

    Traditionally Friday weekend polls favor dems.

    Or this one.

    Secondly, the debates are king right now.

    There’s no quantitative evidence debates have any impact on election outcomes.

    Here’s what political science tells us: at the critical period (July-August), Obama had a net +2 favorable rating and Q2 GDP grew at 2%. Those variables point to an approximate 50.7% vote share for Obama, which should translate into around 292 electoral votes.

  26. anjin-san says:

    Secondly, the debates are king right now.

    You mean after Romney played his two strongest cards and continued to lose ground?

  27. KariQ says:

    @Jack Moss:

    they know the economy sucks, and the numbers are worse than being reported.

    So, are you suggesting that they are faking the numbers to make things look better?

  28. michael reynolds says:

    I think both men will do pretty well in the debate. Technically. But Mr. Romney will still be Romney. And remember something about Romney: no one loves him. No. One.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack Moss:

    Many of those will be chalk-talk kind of ads designed to break down the dismal economic numbers contained in that report.

    Yeah, right. Tthis morning Romney was out there on the Sanday Morning Talkie Circuit backtracking on his economic plan already. Now he says, no tax cuts for the top income earners – how Obama-like. He’ll probably backtrack on that backtracking once he gets some heat from the GOP base. Romney is such an empty suit.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    He’s also now saying he’d save major portions of Obama-care.

    Because he’s secretly doing so well in the polls.

    This is the great organizer, the Business Genius, the Visionary Uber Capitalist Wonder Pony who would bring his Galtian superiority to the campaign. What a maroon.

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    @al-Ameda:
    He’s also now saying he’d save major portions of Obama-care.
    Because he’s secretly doing so well in the polls.
    This is the great organizer, the Business Genius, the Visionary Uber Capitalist Wonder Pony who would bring his Galtian superiority to the campaign. What a maroon.

    Good morning from my Sonoma County Gulag.
    I saw all that, and it was transparently appalling and pathetic all at the same time. I suspect that he’ll backtrack on that backtracking shortly. Until this year, I didn’t realize the Mitt was kind of content-free.

  32. @michael reynolds:

    More on that here:

    Is Romney “Preparing for a Major Fold” on Health Care?

    That’s what I call Zeno’s paradox. Romney is going to move half-way to Obama, and then half-way again, and so on, until he passes him.

  33. Modulo Myself says:

    @john personna:

    Zeno’s Paradox on the surface of a Mobius Strip, considering that ObamaCare equals RomneyCare.

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    @michael reynolds:
    More on that here:
    Is Romney “Preparing for a Major Fold” on Health Care?
    That’s what I call Zeno’s paradox. Romney is going to move half-way to Obama, and then half-way again, and so on, until he passes him.

    Well John, that’s good news right? Romney will amend Obamacare to give us a Single Payer system. Romney is transparently phony.

  35. Modulo Myself says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    With Yakety Sax playing as accompaniment.

  36. @Modulo Myself:

    I think we are getting down to the critical importance of the naming.

  37. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Hell, this is nothing. Wait until the media’s early “exit polls” on Election Day proper. Obama will be winning states like Florida and Ohio, according to the media, even by larger margins than John Kerry in ’04 won that pre-election. Whether or not that translates into Obama winning the actual vote remains to be seen. Certainly it could. But then again it might not.

  38. Will says:

    @john personna: Excellent point.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:
    I don’t even understand what you thought you were saying there. Is it your theory that Rasmussen is now part of the liberal conspiracy?

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    I totally missed that link from the top of the page. You had it hours ago.

  41. sam says:

    @Ddoug

    Perhaps this is attributable to the fact that, by some accounts, the Democrats had a more successful convention than the GOP did, perhaps it’s partly because of Bill Clinton, and perhaps part of it is simply the fact that it came second and was scheduled after the Labor Day weekend, when more people were likely paying attention to the news reports about the race if not watching the convention itself.

    It could be folks just don’t like Governor Romney.

  42. Modulo Myself says:

    @john personna:

    The other alternative is too lose it entirely and advocate that everyone who is old in this country and on Medicare is a mooching slave of the government.

    I don’t like Romney, but I’m guessing that deep down, he is more than okay with the existence of Medicare. The base of his party seems unable to recognize why it even exists, which is utterly deranged.

  43. jukeboxgrad says:

    jack:

    the pre-convention leader has won the last 12 of 15 elections, Gallup’s preconvention poll had Romney in the lead, by a point

    And the Gallup data shows this many examples of “the pre-convention leader” going on to win even though his pre-convention lead was only one point: zero. In most of those 12 examples cited, the pre-convention lead was large: 14 points or more.

    There have been 15 elections since 1952. Of those 15, there are 8 instances where the pre-convention lead was seven points or less. In those 8 instances, the pre-convention leader went on to win the popular vote 50% of the time.

    Summary: if the pre-convention lead is small, it tells you nothing.

    Keep hope alive, though.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    Now, if this goes according to the usual progression, we should start to get leaks of internal Romney camp backstabbing in, I’d guess, about a week. Not much, just a bit. Then, right after Romney gets no bounce from the first debate the real blame-game starts.

    Meanwhile, as the Stench Of Death begins to emanate from the Romney campaign various corporate donors suddenly realize, “Hey, guess what, we better give some money to Obama, too, just to hedge or bests.”

    The blame and the donor fall-off then add to the Stench Of Death phenomenon. Republicans lose heart. Not hate, but heart. Democrats surge. We get a 53/47 race and Obama breaks 300 on the EV.

    Barring outside events that’s my current, conditional guess.

  45. anjin-san says:

    Now, if this goes according to the usual progression, we should start to get leaks of internal Romney camp backstabbing in, I’d guess, about a week.

    Undoubtedly, there is already some behind the scenes finger pointing taking place, and blame assignment/CMA strategies are starting to evolve.

  46. Eric Florack says:

    If two points is the biggst bounce they can manage while over-sampling Democrats, and all the tricks they can use and have been using to this point to inflate Obama’s numbers and strengthen his bandwagon arguments, then there’s no bounce at all.

    Ohh… and ….perhaps we can foretell based on history… Ed Driscoll rightly points up a couple memories:

    To place the weekend’s polls into perspective, Matt Drudge offers some historic flashbacks:

    POLL: O 49% R 45%…
    FLASHBACK: CARTER +4 OVER REAGAN IN SEPT 1980 [+8 IN OCT]…
    FLASHBACK: DUKAKIS +17 OVER BUSH AFTER DNC 1988…

    The Carter bit seems quite appropriate, given the other parallels between Obama and Carter discussed in other threads.

  47. Eric Florack says:

    @Woody: And have the left’s agendae changed at all since FDR?

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You might actually take a moment and look at the data before speaking. On August 31st the Rasmussen poll had Romney +4. That same poll now has Obama +4. That’s an 8 point shift in the Republican-slanted poll.

    8 points.

  49. Eric Florack says:

    .@michael reynolds The MOE is what again?

  50. Scott O says:

    @Eric Florack: The MOE in your 17:35 comment was BIG

  51. Fiona says:

    Romney owned the GOP field during the primary debates. He needs a strong performance.

    Romney’s debate performance during the primaries was mixed at best. Every now and then, something or somebody appeared to set a fire under his behind, and he appeared animated and almost human. But many times, he appeared bored and unhappy to be sharing a stage with people he didn’t considered to be his equals. Nothing says unlikeable as well as behaving like a pompous dork. And other times, he came off as defensive and vague, unable to answer a question honestly if you paid him a million bucks.

    He may do well in debates, but I doubt he’ll get the better of the President. And, if he pulls a Dukakis and comes off as an unfeeling snob, he’s in trouble.

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:

    It’s a tracking poll, and it wasn’t even all post-Clinton.

    But dude, go on living the fantasy. Every poll is biased against Romney. Every poll is part of a liberal conspiracy. Even the polls you loved and cited when they showed Romney up. Whatever. You’ll make your own reality.

  53. anjin-san says:

    other parallels between Obama and Carter

    Yes, they are both Democrats.

    And have the left’s agendae changed at all since FDR?

    Let’s see. What was FDR’s agenda? Oh, yes. Take care of our own people, crush our enemies. No wonder Florack despises him.

  54. anjin-san says:

    Oh, and there was that whole “let’s build up America’s infrastructure” thing under FDR. The man was evil.

  55. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: FDR’s policies extended by 8 years what should have been a short and shallow recession. The nonly thing that saved our economic backsides was WWII, and the death of FDR, and not in that order.

    Carter turned our economy into a disaster in half the time with the same leftist policies.
    And Obama….

    well, gee, we have a trend, huh?

    As I keep saying. The problem is leftists. Obama’s simply a symptom.

  56. @Eric Florack:

    FDR’s policies extended by 8 years what should have been a short and shallow recession.

    There’s the internet in a nutshell. No matter how crazy an idea is, you can find people who believe it.

    For what it’s worth, 1929 changed the path of my family, like millions of others. My grand-dad had money saved to go back to Denmark and buy a farm..When the banks failed, without an FDIC, that was over, and he worked until he kicked off from a heart attack, trying to get back on top.

  57. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:

    I forget. Was there a president between 2000 and 2008?

  58. @Eric Florack:

    My other grand-dad worked for a year without much pay. Why? It was better to work for a guy who couldn’t pay you than to be unemployed.

    Where do they get people to believe that 1929 was just like now, had the safety net just like now, and it was “socialism” on top of that?

  59. Rick Almeida says:

    @Fiona:

    To be fair, if I had to debate Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry, I’d look a little surly, too.

  60. An Interested Party says:

    The Carter bit seems quite appropriate, given the other parallels between Obama and Carter discussed in other threads.

    I understand how the reality-challenged aren’t able to grasp that the President is not Jimmy Carter but I guess it’s asking too much for them to also realize that Mitt Romney is certainly not Ronald Reagan…

  61. anjin-san says:

    Carter turned our economy into a disaster

    Actually, the economy was trashed pretty much throughout the 70’s. Sorry to have facts interfere with your rant. And lets not forget that Carter appointed Paul Volcker, the man who got things straightened out. Carter was a poor president, but let’s try and stay grounded in reality.

    FDR’s policies extended by 8 years what should have been a short and shallow recession.

    My wife’s boss lived through the depression. He is the kind of guy who gives someone like Florack a tingly feeling up his leg. 1%er. Job creator. Staunch conservative, hates Obama. Makes more money in a day that bit does in a year.

    I asked him once what he thought of FDR. His reply? “Roosevelt was a great man. He saved the country. Twice.”

  62. anjin-san says:

    The actual “Cliffs Notes” on the economy before Carter took office:

    Gerald Ford faced the same economic problems as Nixon and was no more successful in dealing with them. The unexpected combination of inflation and high unemployment continued to plague the country. The president focused on inflation and launched the Whip Inflation Now ( WIN) campaign, a voluntary effort that called on Americans to save their money rather than spend it. The campaign, with its red and white WIN buttons, had little effect. Ford also reduced spending and the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates, but the recession worsened and unemployment reached nine percent.

  63. anjin-san says:

    And the Nixon economy, as Cliff sees it:

    Inflation remained high and unemployment increased, a condition that economists labeled stagflation. Early in 1971, Nixon accepted a deficit budget that he hoped would stimulate the economy. He then instituted wage and price controls in August that remained in effect until January 1973. When most of the controls were lifted, inflation returned and worsened with the onset of the energy crisis later in the year. Economists and the government would grapple with the problem for most of the decade.

    Clearly “The problem is leftists”…

  64. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, I’m pretty sure that Ann and his children love him, but I get your point;-)

  65. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Modulo Myself: No, his base understands why it exists. They’re troubled by that you seem to think that you should be included in the program.

  66. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    Ohh… and ….perhaps we can foretell based on history

    Well, your history is that every prediction you made in the 2008 was wildly, cosmically wrong. By all means, keep telling us how well Romney is doing.

  67. Liberty60 says:

    @Eric Florack: I love it when conservatives claim that the New Deal didn’t save us, but WWII did.

    How did WWII save us?
    By having the federal government assume near-total control over the economy, massive deficit spending of 125% of GDP, a third of the country in labor unions and putting half the country on the government payroll.

    Oh, that.

  68. Rob in CT says:

    @Liberty60:

    It’s pretty funny. I had this precise conversation with a friend of mine who leans conservative (but is a reasonable sort) back in 2009. He had just read Amity Shlaes book (which alleges what has become Conservative dogma: FDR’s policies made things worse), and made the “WWII done it” claim. Heh. WWII was the biggest US government spending program in history. It involved employing basically everyone to fight a great threat. It was stimulus on steroids and speed.

    There’s an interesting discussion to be had about the relative effects of the various New Deal policies. I think it’s obvious some worked better than others. But this whole “oh the New Deal prolonged it!” thing is just ahistorical. It has to be. Otherwise, libruls waz right. And that cannot be. It simply cannot be.