Sunday, July 31, 2016

Yes, Trump Got a Convention Bounce, But It Is Fast Disappearing

Tom is back with a look at some numbers, the Trump "convention bounce"...

We have enough information to assess the “convention bounce” for Donald Trump, and the answer is:  just under 4 points, a little less than the 5-point norm for a “challenger.”  We compared the three polls (Economist, CBS and CNN) that were taken over the weekend between the GOP and Democratic conventions with their pre-GOP convention counterparts, and found the following:

Pre-GOP Convention
Post-GOP Convention

What is interesting about these results is that the 3.7-point gain by Trump did not come at the expense of Hillary Clinton, who held ground.  Rather, Trump appeared to win over some uncommitteds.

Trump is generally receiving low marks for his convention, with loads of black marks, from Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama; a slew of D-List celebrities including Scott Baio and Natalie Gulbis; the lack of any entertainment value whatsoever from a man who promised the same, and Ted Cruz’s very prime-time display of disunity.  The only theory for the positive bounce that makes sense is that some undecideds were quite taken with the Trump kids, who performed well, and Trump himself, who, in a scripted speech complete with teleprompters, did a marginally passable imitation of an actual candidate.  But note again that, despite four days of relentless assaults, Hillary Clinton’s numbers were unchanged.

Keep in mind that these polls preceded the highly-acclaimed Democratic Convention.  I am quite certain – and will be back in a few days with the analytics once enough polls come in – that Hillary will be rewarded with a serious bump for her efforts.  The DemCon was an amazing show, full of A-List politicians at the top of their rhetorical games, the Murderer’s Row of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden; strong endorsements from the leaders of the disaffected left-wing, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; the remarkable Michelle Obama; and memorable moments from unexpected sources, most notably rising star Senator Cory Booker, General John Allen, activist Anastasia Somoza and the indomitable Khizr Khan.

“Indomitable” literally means “impossible to subdue or defeat,” and yet Donald Trump is now attempting to diminish the Khan’s with vitriol that represents, almost impossibly, a new low for him.  He has attacked Ghazala Kahn for not speaking while at the convention podium, and said, in response to Khizr Kahn’s charge that he had made no sacrifices for this country, that he indeed had, by “working very, very hard” – as if that somehow paralleled the loss of a child.  As this is written, he is being excoriated for attacking the Kahn’s, and Khizr Kahn himself has challenged Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to renounce him – a challenge currently being met with an uncomfortable silence.

The DemCon even had the type of star power that Trump had promised and failed to deliver, with Paul Simon, Katy Perry and Demi Lovato all performing topical hits live for the adoring crowd, typical of a convention that was expertly choreographed, perfectly prime-timed and brilliantly executed.

And, of course, Hillary Clinton herself knocked it out of the park, receiving strong marks for her own persuasive case for her presidency, a confidently delivered pitch that was grounded in her long-standing values and extraordinary track record.  If you want to learn more about why she was so effective, read Steve’s piece, the best of the many that dissected Hillary’s valedictory:

The early post-DemCon polling has been strong.  RABA has Hillary up +15, and PPP has her +5.  We’ll wait until we have a full set of “bounce” results and report back then.  Expect her to have retaken a solid lead.

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