Saturday, October 30, 2004

No Osama Bounce 

Because we value our sanity we generally try to ignore the polls, but today we made an exception. And if today's numbers are to be believed, the "little gift" Osama gave the President is proving to be even littler than anticipated. From Tim Grieve in Salon's "War Room":
On a conference call with reporters Saturday afternoon, Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg said that polling conducted Friday night and Saturday morning put John Kerry up over George Bush, 48-47.

That's a very slight narrowing from the 49-47 percent lead Kerry held in the last Democracy Corps poll -- so slight that Greenberg declared the result "stable." Greenberg said his poll put another question to voters: Does the bin Laden tape make you think Bush "took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan and diverted resources to Iraq," or does it underscore "the importance of George Bush's approach to the war on terrorism." On that question, Greenberg said voters split 46-36 in favor of the position critical of Bush.

The latest Fox News tracking poll also puts a damper on the theory that the bin Laden tape could yield a Bush bounce. Although Bush is up by two among likely voters, 47 percent to 45 percent, and tied with Kerry among registered voters, his support has actually dropped among likelies in Fox's poll. Bush was up by five in a poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday night. In the poll released today about half of the voters were interviewed on Friday night, after they had the chance to see reports about the re-emergence of bin Laden.
And, from Josh Marshall:
In Zogby's, Kerry moved up one point.

In Rasmussen's, Kerry moved up one point.

In WaPo/ABC, Kerry moved up two points.

In Tipp, Bush moved up two points.

Two other national polls were released (at least that I've seen), Newsweek and Fox.

One third of the Newsweek poll was done last night. And in their poll Bush was up over Kerry by 50% to 44%. That's four points better than the Newsweek poll the previous week that had Bush over Kerry 48% to 46%.

Look, though, at the Fox poll.

Fox did one poll Wednesday and Thursday night. And then they did another poll with calls Thursday and Friday night. So the common denominator is that both polls had calls Thursday night. And half the calls in the second poll were done post-gift.

The first Fox poll had Bush up 5% (50% to 45%) and the second had him up 2% (47% to 45%).

Now, does this mean the bin Laden tape is giving a boost to Kerry? Of course, not. These are tiny changes. And it's altogether possible that this small shift is simply the result of statistical 'noise' -- numbers wobbling around within the polls' margins of error. But it should put at least some damper on the notion that the release of the OBL tape would lead to some sudden Bush surge.

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