One Week Later, No Sign Of A Ryan Bounce

It’s been a week since Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate and, so far, it seems to be having no appreciable impact on the polls.

First, here’s the last week of data from Gallup, which is the one national poll that shows Romney in the lead:

And here’s the RealClearPolitics poll average for the same period, again no change:

Perhaps we’ll see some impact from the VP pick in next weeks polls, but it seems unlikely. At this point, if the Romney campaign wants an up-tick in the polls, it will have to come from the convention.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. john personna says:

    So we won’t know the result until voter ID hits the supreme court …

  2. al-Ameda says:

    There is no bounce because there are close to zero ‘undecided’ and ‘independent’ voters to be picked off.

    This election will be about base turnout and the Republican voter suppression programs.

  3. stonetools says:

    I’m going to predict that:

    a. Ryan will be a net drag on the ticket (the Obama team has only just begun
    its assault on Ryan and the Ryan plan);

    2. There will be little or no post-convention bounce for Romney-Ryan.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    This election may come down to Republican election theft efforts.

    Rock the Vote? Or Block the Vote?

    Honest to God, how can you be an American, believe in Democracy, and be a Republican?

  5. Nikki says:

    Republicans know their platform is unpopular, so…cheaters gotta cheat.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Honest to God, how can you be an American, believe in Democracy, and be a Republican?

    Simple Michael., we are better than you. Trust us, we have the formula…..

  7. I do think the Republicans undermine themselves with these big-picture sins. The voting ID scam would be transparent even without the principals who straight up said what it was for. The obstruction scam would be the same, without the principals who straight up said what it was for.

  8. Kylopod says:


    >There will be little or no post-convention bounce for Romney-Ryan.

    It’ll be hard to tell, in any case. The Dem Convention begins right after the GOP one ends, so any bounce the latter produces will quickly be subsumed by media coverage of the Dem Convention. That’s what happened in 2008, only the order was switched: the Dems came first, immediately followed by the GOP, and while the Dems did experience a perceptible bounce, it quickly disappeared in the wake of the Palin announcement and the GOP Convention. That produced a bounce for the Republicans that lasted about a week, ending around the time of the disastrous Palin interviews and then the Wall Street collapse. It’s clear these post-convention bumps aren’t usually that important in the long run, though the Dems probably have a marginal advantage this time (as the Republicans did four years ago) simply because they come last.

  9. James in LA says:

    August jobs numbers will come out Friday of Dem convention and will likely foreclose on any real Democratic bounce. Turnout v. voter suppression against imaginary cases of voter fraud will be the battle.

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    I think the bounce doesn’t show up in the polls. It shows up in voter enthusiasm – those who were not enthused with Romney are more enthused with Ryan on the ticket. I can’t understand why but that’s the way it is. How this will impact the election remains to be seen.

  11. A couple tidbits …

    A while back I suggested that Romney was micro-managing and mis-managing his own campaign. I think the sad whiteboard video confirms that.

    It’s really astonishing to me that Romney leads with something called false by fact checkers. CNN: “The non-partisan fact-checker has rated a nearly identical charge by Romney, that Obama has ‘robbed’ Medicare of the amount as ‘mostly false.’ It also found Cutter’s assessment of the similarities – but not the description of reductions as “cuts” – between the Romney and Obama’s plans to be ‘true.’”

    I don’t really see how that can stick. The counter ad, quoting Politifact, is too easy.

    The other thing I’ve hit on a few times is that once Romney threw the Ryan plan under the bus, he had no plan. As I said here a few times, it reduced to “trust us, we’re Republicans.” Well:

    Romney advisers confirm it: We’re running a `just trust me’ campaign

    I guess we get to see who can take that pig in a poke.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    Re: the small number of undecideds left to sway. I think James Joyner’s attitudes are indicative of the conundrum we face as a nation: he know’s just how toxic, misguided and harmful the modern Republican party has become, yet he somehow convinces himself that Romney is secretly better than he campaigns and will pull the Repubs in a better direction. And so he will go in the booth and pull the Romney/Ryan lever. There seems to be literally nothing the Republicans could have done over the past twelve years that would stop that vote, much less change it to “D”. And James is a deeply aware, thoughtful individual.

  13. @MarkedMan:

    a deeply aware, thoughtful individual

    Not to single James out, but to generalize, one of the things coming out of neurobiology is that it is often indecipherable which of our decisions are sub-conscious, with a conscious story made up after, or truly cognitive decisions.

    Kahneman’s Systems 1 and 2 map to that:

    System 1: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious
    System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious

    How many people make the “effortful” decision for every national election? Without autopilot?

  14. Kylopod says:

    @john personna: I’m not sure how to put this any other way, but….

    You really think that anyone dumb enough to base their vote on an ad they saw on TV would care what Politifact says?

  15. @Kylopod:

    What’s the number, 3-5 percent undecided in this election?

    I really don’t know how we put our head in that position. It might be the kind of person who half-listens to ads and then decides in the voting booth. For that kind of person the boomerang from “wow, Obama stole $700B” to “oh, Romney was lying” might have an impact.

  16. @Kylopod:

    It is possible that the “Obama stole $700B” ads are not targeted at that group though.

    They may be about mobilizing Obama haters.

  17. grumpy realist says:

    Well, as said–if the American populace are stupid enough to elect Romney and Ryan on their ticket as revealed, they deserve what will happen to them. (Sorry that we had to get rid of the support program for your grandmother who’s gone gaga and you’ll have to take care of her yourselves, but tax cuts are necessary….too bad that China has better technology than we do at present, but we couldn’t afford any R&D…)

    Are Americans insane? (No, don’t answer that.)

    Fed up in Illinois—

  18. Kylopod says:

    @john personna: I am not talking about undecided voters per se. I am talking specifically about those who are so disengaged from politics that they could be swayed by an ad they saw on TV. You really think people like that would care what Politifact has to say? You think they even know what Politifact is? Much more likely, people like that would be moved by vivid imagery and appeals to emotion. People who like to weigh the evidence aren’t going to be using ads as their guide. Adding “According to Politifact” to a political ad may give it an aura of professionalism, but it’s relatively easy to produce a similar effect without citing a legitimate fact checker and make one’s claims sound credible to the credulous.

  19. @Kylopod:

    In a professionally run battle we’d know which messages were good, the ones being shown, because we could be sure that both sides were message testing.

    As I say above, I think Mitt is micro-managing and mis-managing his own campaign though. I’ve even heard that he was (micro)managing convention stagecraft. So we could think (and alternately hope) that Mitt is just running with something that feels good to him.

    If the Obama-ites push back with fact-checks, we can probably guess it is a tested message from their side.

  20. rob says:

    Get a clue and get it right, the Real Clear Politics poll includes 3 polls taken prior to or on the same date as the announcement, which would make those particular polls irrelevant to your assertion of no appreciable impact. A premature ejaculation blog here, wait until all polls have their dates of questioning AFTER the selection. This time 2 years ago showed a slight lead for GOP and not the eventual landslide it became, folks are still out to lunch on this and won’t likely engage until mid October.

  21. Kylopod says:


    >This time 2 years ago showed a slight lead for GOP and not the eventual landslide it became

    I think you don’t understand how Congressional polls work. Presumably you’re referring to the generic ballot, where it’s quite common for an apparent “slight lead” to translate into a huge win. Indeed, the GOP’s popular vote lead in the 2010 House elections was merely 51.4%-44.8%–not what one would normally consider huge. But that’s pretty normal for House elections. The reason is complicated, having to do with structural factors and the difficulty in measuring the impact of local vs. national effects in House races. The 1994 midterms had similar results (51.5%-44.7% in the popular vote, translating to a 54-seat net gain for the Republicans), and in 1982, a somewhat larger popular-vote margin by Democrats (55.0%-43.2%) translated into a mere 26-seat gain–simply because Dems already had control of Congress and therefore had far fewer seats to acquire than the GOP did in 1994 and 2010.

    By the summer of 2010, almost all serious analysts saw the wave coming, and the apparent “slight lead” in the generic ballot in no way contradicted this expectation, for anyone who understood how generic ballots work. Presidential polls are far less complicated to interpret, and while their results in mid-summer don’t necessarily predict what will happen in November, they tend to provide a fairly accurate picture of the race as it currently stands, unlike the much more nebulous generic ballots for Congressional races. I agree that it’s premature to call the Ryan pick a failure simply because he didn’t get a perceptible bounce, but the fact that he didn’t is, at the very least, not a very encouraging sign for Republicans.

  22. rob says:

    @Kylopod: Your absolutely right, the generic poll for congressional races continued to grow in the GOP favor through September and October (up more than 10 percentage points) of 2010. The point is that the “bounce” is yet to be determined with the Ryan pick, and if Romney trends up, it may or may not be because of the pick, but perhaps because of other gaffs made by the administration’s campaign last week. These polls are unlikely to make that determination. But again, you can’t read too much into these polls yet. As economic news trickles out and confirms the anemic pace of the “recovery”, this will dampen the excitement of both those who are undecided and Democrats far more than any campaign ad, by EITHER candidate. This point is a big deal, especially in how the Romney campaign decides to spend its large advantage in “funds on hand” in the final 2 months, just when folks finally start to pay attention.