Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Follow the Bouncing Poll

Reuters reports a five-point McCain lead in its own latest poll.

The normal question at this time of year is whether either or both candidates will get a poll "bounce" from their respective conventions. Typically a candidate's poll numbers increase after his party's convention, when he has received favorable TV exposure over the course of a week.

I'm not sure how the odd scheduling of this year's conventions, with the two of them being held during back-to-back weeks, will affect the bounce issue. This is the first presidential election year since 1956 that they have been scheduled that way.

In scheduling the conventions, it has been standard procedure for many years to have the "out party" hold their convention first. That party's nominee, the challenger to either the incumbent president or his anointed successor, typically enjoys good poll numbers during the period between the conventions, which is usually at least a week, and sometimes more than a month. Then, the nominee of the "in party" catches up, at least to some extent, after his convention.

Barack Obama will have only a long weekend in the spotlight, before the Republican convention begins the following Monday. And rumor has it that McCain might try to further dim that spotlight by announcing the Republican running mate the day after Obama's acceptance speech.

The bottom line of all that is that the poll numbers will probably be volatile over the next few weeks, so McCain's lead in this current poll could widen and/or disappear as events unfold. But, for the time being at least, McCain's campaign seems to be doing OK.

The many people out there who, unlike me, are too young to remember a television program entitled Sing Along With Mitch, will need to have their grandparents explain to them the title of this post.

No comments: