Post-Convention Partisan Bump
2012 is the first election year on record in which neither party got a bounce out of its political convention. According to the Gallup poll, which has been measuring convention bounces for nearly 50 years, President Obama gained a negligible one point in support from the Democratic convention in Charlotte, while Mitt Romney actually went down a point after the Republican convention in Tampa.
Only twice before have conventions produced such a small bounce. John Kerry lost a point after the 2004 Democratic convention and George McGovern got zero bounce from the 1972 Democratic convention, where he delivered his acceptance speech at three o’clock in the morning. Even the chaotic 1968 Democratic convention produced a two-point bounce for Hubert Humphrey.
What happened this year?
The polls have been in a statistical dead heat since February, when it became clear that Romney would be the Republican nominee. Neither candidate has been able to sustain any momentum.
Voters appear to be dug in. It’s all about President Obama, and voters seem to have firm opinions for or against the President. The number of truly undecided voters ranges between 5% and 8% in most polls. One quarter of Americans live in battleground states. Which means the entire campaign is targeted at between 1.5 and 3 million swing voters in battleground states. Some enterprising political consultant probably has their names and addresses. Maybe Mitt Romney will send each of them a check.
Read more in Bill Schneider’s Inside Politics Newsletter - September 2012.