St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Okay, Bush got a bounce, but ...

Okay, so there was a Bush bounce. But the cascading polls indicate that W’s bounce in the polls is going to be very fleeting, with the race back to dead-even well before the debates.

Two polls taken during and the day after the Republican National Convention (Time and Newsweek) showed large Bush gains. The Newsweek poll was specific enough to show that 6-7% of voters had switched from Kerry to Bush by the day of Bush’s acceptance speech and another 5% switched the following day.

But the Gallup and ICR polls taken just a few days later (the weekend following the convention) and the Zogby poll concluded September 2 all showed a mere 2-point bounce. And those polls all concluded before Labor Day, before public attention was directed to pro-labor activities.

Bush’s gains immediately following his acceptance speech are due in part to his performance in the speech. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was something he didn’t do: the trademark arrogant Bush smirk was gone. He exuded confidence without arrogance, tightly tracing the very fine line that separates the two. Bush and his advisers are to be commended for accomplishing that difficult feat.

Bush accomplished that control of his subtle non-verbal communication very well in the controlled environment of a well-rehearsed speech. Repeating that performance in the less-controlled setting of the debates will be more difficult.

While many observe accurately that Kerry is campaigning very poorly and that his campaign is devoid of any principles, the electoral fundamentals still point to a Kerry win, in spite of Kerry himself. Electoral College analysis (the only count that really matters) still shows Kerry clinging to slight leads in nearly all of the battleground states and a solid lead in likely electoral votes. Moreover, trends in voter registration and likely voter turnout all favor Kerry, and may not be reflected in current poll numbers. More about that in a later post.


Blogger Norm Pressman said...

O Oracle its now a week after your posting-surely you still don't Keryr has a chance in Missouri-My Oracle says our only statewide winner is Robin-And people who were furious at Russ during the campaign ought to thank the almighty that we have the Carnahan name in Missouri its the onlything we will have by November 3.

September 17, 2004 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger St. Louis Oracle said...

Yes, the Oracle still sees a Kerry win in Missouri. Polls already show the race tightening after the post-RNC bounce. The latest Survey USA poll for Missouri shows Kerry and McCaskill down by only a single point, well within the margin of error. The turnout factors I cited in the "Perfect Storm" post (but without early voting) will propel the ticket to victory. The polls are underestimating the vote of African Americans and voters under 30, both of which historically lag in turnout but which will turn out big time for Kerry this time. Kerry's horrible campaign is doing its best to hand the election to Bush (it's sad when the campaign's most effective communicator is the vice-presidential candidate's wife), but I think the two Johns will win in spite of themselves.

The Oracle has been critical of the hatred-based appeal of the Kerry campaign (especially its "527" allies), but the fact is that hatred is a very effective motivator. It will do the job in Missouri and elsewhere.

Your suggestion that Robin Carnahan may be the only Democrat winner overlooks another Democrat (albeit a Democrat in name only) who will run much better than Carnahan: Jay Nixon. Nixon would win even if the entire Democratic ticket endorsed Michael Jackson's right to molest children.

One concession: I no longer think that Kerry's Missouri landslide will carry Nancy Farmer to the senate. She once appeared to be the single most principled candidate on the ticket, but then she blew it at the debate when she said she would have also voted to send troops to Iraq.

September 17, 2004 at 5:08 PM  

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