I'm not sure what is worse news for Republicans, the fact their convention delivered ZIP in the way of bounce for Romney, or what appears to be a marked uptick for Obama after a very successful Democratic convention. Given Romney needed to "sell" himself to Americans, "appear human", that the GOP convention failed to move numbers at all is probably the more concerning. Convention bounces are normal, and for the challenger, conventions offer one of the pivotal moments to "connect". It would appear, as the dust settles, Obama will be the only receiving a bounce, now it's just a question of degree.
Prior to the start of the Dem convention, the right leaning Rasmussen had Romney with a one point edge. Compared with other polls, you routinely see Rasmussen with a decided GOP lean, it's been that way for years. What is instructive isn't the lean, but the comparison over time within a certain methodology. This morning we received the first full post-convention rolling poll from Rasmussen and it shows a 4 point Obama lead, astronomical by their standards, a full 5 point change since the convention began.
Gallup, which tends to be more in line with other polling runs a 7 day rolling poll, so we still haven't gauged the full impact of the convention. Using yesterday's release though, we see a marked uptick for Obama, now 4 points, with still more bounce digestion to come in subsequent days. As well- and perhaps more telling- Obama's approval ratings have now shot up to 52%, the highest level he has enjoyed since after the Bin Laden raid, a spike worthy of consideration. The Ipsos firm also shows a favorable Obama move, it is fair to say the bounce is real and outside any margin of error.
Perhaps a good time to consider Kinsella's scathing column on the fixation of polls. Kinsella is spot on with many of criticisms. However there is still room to "gauge" with some sense of confidence if one confines themselves to trend moves within a certain poll, merely as validation of move, not necessarily confirmation of actual voter intent. Within that characterization we can ascertain things such as "bounce", fairly conclude the Democratic convention went well for Obama and he is benefiting. That doesn't mean Obama is in the clear, that most certainly doesn't address the fickleness of soft support (for my money where pollsters get burned bad), but it does give us a sense of a moment in time.
Forgetting the polls, I did predict a Obama bounce the last night of the campaign, based on my perceptions of that convention. Night one, you had Michelle get RAVE reviews from all quarters, a terrific tone set. The second night, Clinton delivered an incredibly effective defence of Obama, everyone agrees his speech was a rousing success. The last night Obama once again reinforced his reputation as an amazing orator, so it is hardly surprising to assume an impact. Factor in very good ratings relative to the GOP, and we expect some bounce.
The GOP convention didn't move numbers, any positive impact to Romney's reputations was minimal, he now looks to the debates for the next "big" opportunity. The Dem convention delivered as intended, so the GOP failure is that much more pronounced, no counter effect present, no "saw off" when the dust settles.
Conventions over, advantage Barack.