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Obama: A convention bounce?
How the Democratic convention affected voters
W

hat happened
A USA Today/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend concluded that the Democratic National Convention gave Barack Obama a boost, widening his lead over John McCain among registered voters. (USA Today) Other polls suggested a smaller convention bounce, or none at all. A CNN poll showed the two presidential candidates still even as the Republican convention started this week. (CNN)

What the commentators said
The debate over convention bounce is all about “spin,” said Jimmy Orr in The Christian Science Monitor’s The Vote Blog. But the Gallup poll makes it clear that Obama climbed by about four points, as Gallup now has him at about 50 percent to McCain’s 43 percent. That’s a little less than the typical convention bounce, but it's something.

Whatever bounce Obama may have gotten from what was touted as “the greatest speech in political history,” said Leon H. Wolf in the blog RedState, “it has completely evaporated with the announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate.” Despite “the slobbering and fawning media coverage,” the Democratic show yielded “bupkis” for Obama in Rasmussen tracking polls.

The convention-time game is on, said Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice blog. “Choose the poll that fits your particular political bias and scream it to the world.” But the reality is that the polls are split on Obama’s convention bounce, and over how voters reacted to McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. And until the GOP convention ends, the polls don’t really mean much anyway.

“My hunch” is that, “once everything settles down," Obama will inch up with the convention cycle, said Nate Silver in The New Republic’s The Plank blog. “The Democrats seemed to ‘find their voice’ during their convention, bringing home a bread-and-butter message about the failures of the status quo, whereas the Republicans will be forced to retool theirs in the wake of Gustav and the Palin selection.”

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