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Sep 12 2012

Obama Gets Huge Post-Convention Bounce

Over the last few election cycles, the typical post-convention bounce in the polls has been steadily decreasing — but this year’s conventions seem to be bucking that trend, at least for the Democrats. Nate Silver, the best poll analyst in the business, notes a significant bounce in all four major tracking polls.

On Friday, we began to see reasonably clear signs that President Obama would receive some kind of bounce in the polls from the Democratic convention.

Mr. Obama had another strong day in the polls on Saturday, making further gains in each of four national tracking polls. The question now is not whether Mr. Obama will get a bounce in the polls, but how substantial it will be.

Some of the data, in fact, suggests that the conventions may have changed the composition of the race, making Mr. Obama a reasonably clear favorite as we enter the stretch run of the campaign.

And these are daily tracking polls, which roll over the results of several days, which means, as Silver notes, that these numbers will probably go up further in the next few days. A little simple math based on the number of days that are rolled over suggests that the actual post-Wednesday bounce (after Clinton’s speech) is actually about 8 points. Here’s where Silver had the race as of Sunday afternoon:

22 comments

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  1. 1
    oranje

    The numbers are up to 314.2 electoral college votes/79.7% chance (88.2% if it were today) of an Obama victory as of today’s update. Everything Nate Silver has suggests this race won’t be nearly as close as the media is hyping it to be. Of course, it’s in their interest to make it seem close, so we’ll pay attention to them.

  2. 2
    Brett McCoy

    Is my imagination or are the red lines and blue lines in each of these graphs exact vertical mirror images of each other?

  3. 3
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Good. (Raised beer salute.)

    Not that Obama is perfect – far from it – but compared with the alternative?

    Yup. He’s the lesser evil by Astronomical Units.

  4. 4
    kbonn

    The race is “close” in that a lot of people are just starting to pay attention. I will say, this is the first time in a long time, the democrats seem to have more effectively sold their message than the republicans. Probably because Romney/Ryan can’t give details about their plans, since they screw 95% of the electorate.

  5. 5
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. Still along way off and months away with much of consequence to come (eg. debates) and a narrow race from what I gather from here in Oz.

    Still reckon Obama should win by a reasonable tho.

    Apart from anything else .. Mitt Rmoney? Really USA? For POTUS? No way. Surely?

  6. 6
    Ace of Sevens

    @2: These graphs track probable electoral votes and chances of winning. The only thing that could make them not be mirror images is a non-zero chance of a third party getting at least some electoral votes. Apparently, that’s been judged unlikely.

  7. 7
    daved

    One thing I’m unclear about in these polls: are they “likely voter” polls? My biggest concern at this point is that Obama might be favored by a majority of voters in, say, Pennsylvania, but does that take into account the new voter ID laws there? It’s all very well for him to be the preferred candidate of a majority of voters, but if a bunch of those voters discover they can’t vote on election day, the GOP’s strategy might pay off after all.

  8. 8
    Cuttlefish

    Brett–without a prominent third-party candidate, yes, because they sum to 100%

    Silver’s blog does show the beginning of the end of the bump as of today–he’s switched his narrative to “how much can Obama hold on to?”

  9. 9
    Trebuchet

    Is my imagination or are the red lines and blue lines in each of these graphs exact vertical mirror images of each other?

    Unless the polls predict someone else to win some electoral votes or have a significant chance of winning, that’s exactly as it should be. The total of electoral votes is always 538. The total percentage is always 100%.

  10. 10
    skeptifem

    AHHH relief. A romney presidency has been an anxiety inducing thought.

  11. 11
    Anthony K

    Is my imagination or are the red lines and blue lines in each of these graphs exact vertical mirror images of each other?

    It’s a vase.

    No! Two faces!

  12. 12
    eric

    StevoR:

    a narrow race from what I gather from here in Oz.

    Depends on how you count votes. Neither candidate is likely to get more than about 52% of the national popular vote, which probably means it is “close” in the normal sense of the word of being 52 to 48, 51 to 49, or possibly even closer.

    But Silver has Obama winning Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, based on the poll results in those states. Those are the three biggest swing states. Winning all three would probably count as a very big Obama victory in terms of how the US electoral system works.

  13. 13
    d cwilson

    daved@7:

    The GOP’s entire strategy does seem to revolve less around convincing a majority to vote for them as it is making it harder for certain people to vote against them. That’s why I caution my fellow progressives against popping the champagne just yet, because if there is a way to steal this election, the GOP will find it.

  14. 14
    Dennis N

    Obama Gets Huge Post-Convention Bounce

    Or as some chose to report: “Both candidates leave their conventions without a sizable bounce in the polls”. Gotta love that liberal media.

  15. 15
    BradC

    They’ve updated their sidebar predictions, and the bounce is even more pronounced, as you’ve suggested it would be.

    If you click on “Now-cast”, it now shows an estimated 314 electoral votes for Obama, and a 88.2% chance of victory.

  16. 16
    Ray Ingles

    My favorite site for tracking this stuff: electoral-vote.com. Lots of detail. And though it’s partisan, the data and algorithms are completely open and don’t seem biased.

    The most interesting graphs from there: http://electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/ec_graph-2012.html

    Compares this election with the two previous.

  17. 17
    fifthdentist

    @ Dennis N
    Yes, but I think Romney’s was more of a dead-cat bounce.
    I just hope these Republican congressional candidates will keep up their loud advocacy for the Greedy Orwellian Perverts’ real positions. Like the one recently in Pennsylvania who compared having a child out of wedlock to rape.
    Please, Republicans, continue to rip off your masks and say in public things you once only said at the Teaparty Klavern meetings.

  18. 18
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    @d cwilson

    The GOP’s entire strategy does seem to revolve less around convincing a majority to vote for them as it is making it harder for certain people to vote against them.

    ‘Seem’ is the wrong word. They have publicly admitted that this is their strategy.

  19. 19
    tfkreference

    I agree with kbonn @4. The Democrats actually managed to play the convention well. Going second was a huge advantage, and for once they didn’t blow it. They managed to address the points the Republicans made the week before and play off the criticisms of the Republicans–Michelle Obama’s speech was practically a point-by-point rebuttal, and the emphasis on the military was obvious. My favorite line of the week, however, was when Clinton said something like, “[Romney campaign official] said that they’re not going to let the fact checkers run their campaign, and they clearly are not.” Reality does have a liberal bias.

  20. 20
    Michael Heath

    The biggest conclusion I got from the DNC conclusion is how much more free press the Republicans get; where it seems to me that’s because of their radical positions and content. It’s news they’re so dumb, nuts, and nihilistic; plus it’s easier to make that narrative interesting. So I was surprised to see so much enthusiasm coming from Democrats at their convention after years of bearing the Tea Party and other Republicans being the primary antagonists the press covers.

  21. 21
    Area Man

    One thing I’m unclear about in these polls: are they “likely voter” polls? My biggest concern at this point is that Obama might be favored by a majority of voters in, say, Pennsylvania, but does that take into account the new voter ID laws there?

    Silver’s model takes into account a large number of polls, some of which use a likely voter screen, and some of which do not. He weighs individual polls however according to their “house effect” (whether they lean R or D) and other known issues, so presumably any problems with the screen or lack thereof get weeded out. He also feeds economic and other non-poll data into the model. (One problem I have with his approach is that he may be adding in too many factors, some of which may just add noise and reduce the model’s accuracy.)

    As for voter ID laws, as ugly as they are, they are unlikely to make a noticeable difference in the outcome. Most people who don’t have ID and can’t get it are unlikely to vote anyway, and these people are accounted for by the LV screens. And Obama’s lead in PA is such that Romney’s not even contesting it.

  22. 22
    cry4turtles

    YEA!!!!!

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