Saturday, September 04, 2004

Songs for Swingin' Voters 

Zemblan patriot M.U. forwards the Time poll that has sent so many Kerry supporters into spasms of trepidation and woe: Bush 52%, Kerry 41%, Nader 3%, with Bush leading on most key issues (including, fer Christ's sake, Iraq and the economy).

However, Ruy Teixeira of Donkey Rising says the Time poll is no cause for alarm:
How High the Bounce?

It must be stressed that at this point: we don't know. Measurements of a candidate's bounce should be based on polls taken before and after a convention. So far we have no such data--in fact, tonight [Friday, 9/3] will be the first night where polling can be conducted that is truly after the completeion of the GOP convention. Therefore, we won't have real bounce data for several days . . . .

In the meantime, we will await the release of data that actually measure the convention bounce, defined, just to be clear, as the change in a candidate's level of support (not the margin) from the period before to the period after the convention. And while we're waiting, here are some interesting observations that are worth keeping in mind from a just-released Gallup analysis of the bounce issue:
Based solely on history, the Bush-Cheney ticket could expect to gain five to six points among registered voters after this week's convention. That would result in a 52% to 53% support level for Bush among registered voters, up from 47% in the pre-convention poll.
Meanwhile, Zemblan patriot T.C. recommends a post from Daily Kos diarist Debcoop, who points out a number of seeming irregularities in the methodology of the Time poll:
Please Note that this polling company did something unheard of during a convention they pushed the the undecided likely voters to make a choice. Also again I want to point out that this poll was done during the RNC while the Time poll for the DNC was done 5-7 days later, not at the height of the convention.
According to Kevin Drum, however, Time's polling firm routinely "pushes leaners," even though the poll prior to this one for some reason omitted them, so there's nothing fishy going on there. The timing issue does bother Drum. But as he points out, other polls, including Zogby, ARG, and Rasmussen, show a much tighter race, and the numbers will undoubtedly change now that Kerry can spend some money again.

Taking all of that into account, however, the Newsweek poll may be reason to panic.

| | Technorati Links | to Del.icio.us