President Obama's convention bounce: A mirage?

Polls suggest that the Democratic convention jumped Obama's poll numbers. But did it really improve his standing with the people who will actually cast votes?

President Obama leads Mitt Romney nationally by one point, but plenty of candidates with the same poll numbers have lost the race.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A flurry of polls suggested that President Obama got a big boost from last week's Democratic convention, opening a wider lead over Mitt Romney. A new survey by The Washington Post and ABC News, however, suggests that the apparent bounce might not have changed the candidates' prospects in November as much as some analysts think. Obama surged to a 50 percent to 44 percent lead over Romney among poll respondents who were registered to vote. Among people who are actually likely to show up at the polls and vote, however, Obama had 49 percent and Romney 48 percent — leaving the race essentially in a dead heat, just as it was before the conventions. Did the conventions really change the outlook for the presidential race, or has Obama's bounce been over-hyped?

Obama's so-called bounce is meaningless: "Maybe this will stop the silly post-convention panic among Republicans," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Election day is just 60 days out, so it's meaningless to look at what all registered voters think. Likely voters are the only ones who matter now, and they were clearly unswayed by Obama's sales pitch. If anything, Obama's low job approval, which didn't budge, and Romney's enduring lead among independents is "hardly cheery" news for Democrats.

"WaPo/ABC poll shows no change in race from before convention"

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Sorry, GOP, Obama's bounce is quite real: What matters with polls is the trend, says Jamelle Bouie at The American Prospect. This one — like others from Gallup, Rasmussen, CNN, and Reuters — confirms that Obama's convention made him the favorite in this race. The Post and ABC didn't isolate likely voters before the conventions, but Obama made a four-point gain among registered voters. Obama "convinced a majority of the public to support him."

"The Obama bounce and what it means"

Dems should be happy — but not too happy: Dems have every right to "[walk] with a spring in their step," says Steve Benen at MSNBC. Obama and Romney are virtually tied nationally, but Obama has "a significant advantage in the eight battleground states, leading by 14 points among registered voters." Still, there are plenty of reasons for Democrats to temper their optimism. Plenty of candidates have lost after having a one-point national lead at this point, and Romney has eight weeks and three debates to turn the tables.

"Obama's post-convention bounce continues"

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