Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Gallup: No Bounce For Romney

Posted Sep 10, 2012 at 9:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Another analysis of the post-GOP convention bounce, this time from Gallup, reports that Mitt Romney received a negative "bounce from last week's Republican National Convention, as the 46% of registered voters who supported him in Aug. 31-Sept. 3 Daily tracking is essentially the same as the 47% who preferred him in Aug. 24-27 tracking, the four days preceding the convention." Here is Gallup's chart:

Gallup Daily Tracking of Voter Presidential Preferences Before and After Aug. 28-30 Republican National Convention

McCain's Bounce

Posted Sep 12, 2008 at 7:18 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack has just perused a bunch of national periodic and daily tracking polls released today. The conclusion: the race is very close, with McCain holding onto a 2% to 3% aggregate lead. Another conclusion: McCain 's bounce may have solidified to a certain extent. Obama's bounce, on the other hand, appears to have been blunted, then erased, followed as it was by the VP announcement and the Republican convention a few hours later.

PollTrack: Close But Trending McCain's Way

Posted Sep 09, 2008 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

Looking at the bulk of national polling completed entirely after the Republican National Convention, PollTrack now sees the race as statistically tied but trending in McCain's direction. It appears that the RNC was successful in erasing Obama's "bounce," increasing voter party identification for the Republicans, and improving McCain's numbers in a range of categories, from his potential as leader and commander in chief to his handling of Iraq and the economy.

The thing to watch: state polls. Are national numbers translated into an improved performance for McCain in battleground states? The earliest signs suggest an up tick in support for McCain in some of these states.

Another thing to watch: the media's vetting of Palin. Will the luster wear-off her candidacy? If so, will races that now favor McCain--Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, all states with significant Evangelical populations--become closer?

Or Is It A Tie: Have the "Bounces" Canceled Each Other Out?

Posted Sep 08, 2008 at 4:42 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls suggest that the presidential numbers, rather than a plus for either candidate, have to returned to the dead heat recorded before conventions. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll reports a 48% to 48% split, with no "bounce" for either candidate and a surprisingly small pool of undecided voters. Similarly, a Hotline/FD daily tracking poll (which commenced on Friday and will be added to our daily tracking average), shows the race tied at 44%, but with a larger number of undecideds.

The next few days may help sort things out.

More Americans Now Think McCain , Not Obama, Will Win

Posted Sep 07, 2008 at 4:30 PM by Maurice Berger

A new Survey USA poll taken after the Republican National Convention reports that more Americans now think McCain, and not Obama, will win in November. McCain leads Obama, 49% to 44%, among respondents who were asked "if you were placing a bet today" who do you think will be elected president? In recent months, most public opinion surveys have indicated that voters believed Obama would win.

If this trend holds, it could prove problematic for Obama, especially at a time when the Republican brand is on the wane and a Democratic win had seemed likely to many voters.

McCain Moves Ahead . . . For Now

Posted Sep 07, 2008 at 5:12 AM by Maurice Berger

An average of Daily Tracking Polls, now indicates that McCain has moved into the lead. Indeed, the Gallup tracker just released shows McCain with a 3% advantage--48% to 45%. PollTrack's daily average gives McCain a 1.5% lead overall. McCain has heretofore not been able to hold any statistical lead for more than a few days during the past two months.

If his lead holds, McCain's post-convention "bounce" may be steeper than Obama's (right now indicating an 8% up tick for the Republicans since the height of the Democratic "bounce" at roughly 4% to 5%). Does the fact that the Republicans went last also give them a long term advantage, allowing their gains to solidify? Time will tell.

Gallup: Obama's Vanishing "Bounce"

Posted Sep 06, 2008 at 5:18 AM by Maurice Berger

Today's Gallup Daily Tracking Poll, like Rasmussen, concludes that Obama's "bounce" has vanished in the wake of the Republican National Convention. Gallup now now calls the race "Too-Close-To Call," with Obama's 8% advantage dwindling to 2%, 47% to 45%.

Watch the 50% Mark and the Palin Effect III

Posted Sep 06, 2008 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

It looks like the timing of the conventions--virtually back-to-back--as well as the relative success of the Republican National Convention in communicating its message to voters may have significantly blunted the 5% "bounce" that Obama received coming out of his convention. The two daily trackers--Rasmussen and Gallup--both show a renewed tightening of the race, with numbers falling back to a point or so of where they were before the start of either convention. This morning, Rasmussen shows Obama with a 3% lead: 49% to 46%.

There is a good news for both candidates in Rasmussen's numbers. For Obama, it's the candidate's proximity to 50%. Obama appears to maintain a base number in the upper forties, McCain in the mid to lower-forties. The big question: will McCain's convention produce more than a tradition "bounce" of 4-5%. If so, his numbers could inch up towards the magic number of 50%. Right now, it appears that the race has returned to its pre-convention status, with fluid numbers, Obama above 45%, McCain slightly below, and both candidates very close.

As for the McCain campaign, Rasmussen suggests that Obama's lead among women has dropped by 50% over the past five days, down to 7% from a lead of 14% after the Democratic National Convention.  The jury is still out on whether Palin has improved McCain's standing among women. But one thing is certain: all too often the pundits have reduced the "female vote" to a rigid stereotype, one that implies that most women are pro-choice, anti-gun, and feminist. Yet in many swing states--including PA, OH, MI, WI--large blocs of female voters, especially working class and/or married women, trend conservative in their cultural and social beliefs. Could this demographic account for McCain's improving numbers among female voters?

The Beginning of a McCain "Bounce"?

Posted Sep 04, 2008 at 1:46 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen's Daily Tracker released this morning reports that this is "the second straight day that the results have inched very slightly in McCain’s direction as the GOP convention gets underway and seeks to overcome Obama's convention bounce" Are we seeing the start of McCain's convention bounce, even before McCain's speech and the effects of Palin's dramatic speech set in with voters?

In another positive sign for the Republicans, only 42% of Independents believe Obama is more qualified than Palin to be president. And by a margin of ten to one, Rasmussen reports that voters believe that "journalists are trying to hurt Palin's campaign rather than help." The Republican's adept anti-media rhetoric may indeed be working.

CNN + Rasmussen: The "Bounce" May Be Gone

Posted Sep 01, 2008 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll taken entire after the Democratic National Convention suggests that the race between Obama and McCain is exactly as was before the convention: tied. According to the new poll, Obama leads by one point, 49% to 48%. Yesterday and today, Rasmussen's daily tracker observes a similar contraction to pre-convention numbers. So any "bounce" in public opinion generated by Denver appears to have evaporated.

The reason: it's likely the the rapid fire succession of the two VP announcements and conventions--the latter a few days apart rather than three to four weeks apart, timing that has occurred only a few other times in the history of the two parties--has made it difficult for the Democrats to sustain their "bounce." Further complicating things for Obama is the popularity of Sarah Palin among Christian conservatives, a nomination that has now pushed McCain's Republican party support to well over 90%.

The "bounce" generated by the DNC may have been canceled out by the buzz generated by McCain's announcement of his running mate. Writes CNN pollster Keating Holland: "The convention -- and particularly Obama's speech -- seems to be well-received. And the selection of Sarah Palin as the GOP running mate, also seems to be well-received. So why is the race still a virtual tie? Probably because the two events created equal and opposite bounces --assuming that either one created a bounce at all."

Where is the "Bounce"?

Posted Aug 27, 2008 at 1:56 AM by Maurice Berger

A Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll out this morning reports that  McCain has moved into the lead, "the first time since August 9 that [he] has held any advantage over Obama" by an albeit insignificant margin of one point: 47% to 46%. Perhaps more troubling for the Democrats: Gallup's Tuesday tracker (see, "Negative Bounce: Gallup Agrees" below) also showed McCain pulling into the lead at a time when a national candidate is usually enjoying a "bounce" due to the announcement of the VP nominee and the days of free air time afforded by the national convention.

Gallup's analysis of polling trends since the beginning of August suggests a drop off in support for Obama among conservative Democrats. The thing to watch: will Hillary Clinton's speech help improve Obama's standing with these voters? Also important: how will this convention play out with independent voters, whose allegiances have been fluid over the past nine months?

Once again, a note of caution: public opinion is often slow to form. The full effect of both conventions may not be clear for a while.

First Out of the Gate: Rasmussen--a Negative Bounce?

Posted Aug 26, 2008 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen Reports is the first polling organization to attempt to discern voter reaction to the DNC. Their surprising conclusion: a negative bounce.  While it may well be too early to take such a reading seriously, Resmussen writes:

The Democratic National Convention has begun and the poll numbers are bouncing, but not in the direction that most people anticipated.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Barack Obama attracting 44% of the vote while John McCain also earns 44%. When "leaners" are included, it’s still tied with Obama at 46% and McCain at 46%. Yesterday, with leaners, Obama had a three-point advantage over McCain.

PollTrack notes that Gallup Daily Tracking and CNN both reported the election dead even, in the days BEFORE the convention. So Rasmussen may just be catching up. Stay tuned as pollsters trade analyzes all week long.

Post-Convention Bounce

Posted Aug 26, 2008 at 1:46 AM by Maurice Berger

By now, you may have heard a lot about "bounce"--the ticking up in poll numbers after a presidential candidate's national convention. The average "bounce" is 5%. This week, Polltrack will be paying close attention to voter response to the Democratic National Convention (and next week to the Republican National Convention). Will Obama's numbers start nudging up in the Daily Tracking Polls? Will he get the post-convention bounce he needs to pull ahead of McCain?

And what of the unprecedented timing of the two conventions, now within days of each other? Will this rapid turn around--now a matter of a few days rather than the traditional lag of three to four weeks--combined with McCain's naming of his VP later this week blunt or distort this bounce?

Keep in mind: the two daily trackers analyzed on this site--Rasmussen and Gallup--represent a rolling average of nightly surveys over the previous three or four days. Thus, any meaningful improvement in Obama's numbers may not be felt until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest.

One problem for the Democrats, however, is the timing of the conventions relative to each other: the Republicans go last, usually the favored position, affording the party the "last word" as voters finally start focusing on the fall campaign.