Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Why the Bush bounce?

I admit that I am more perplexed than normal as to why nothing that Kerry does or says (including the Edwards announcement) helps him in the polls. That this is a bad sign for the Demos goes almost without saying. I thought this paragraph from

Rich Lowry at NRO is thoughtful on this issue:

"According to the AP poll last week, Bush seemed to get a small bounce from the Edwards selection. Other polls show a tiny Kerry bounce, but Bush’s job approval rating still climbing. What’s happening here? The Edwards selection helped knock Iraq off the front pages, and anything that de-emphasizes Iraq helps Bush, since it has been the main thing dragging him down. This means that any big Kerry campaign events that dominate the news--no matter how well rolled out, like the Edwards announcement--work in some sense in Bush’s strategtic favor, since they serve to overshadow Iraq. Now, of course, part of what is going on here is that Iraq has simmered down a bit over the last two weeks, and there are no longer daily CPA breifings to provide the cable channels with easy video. But there is still news in Iraq. Last week, five of our guys were killed in a mortar attack and almost no one knows about it, because it ran on page A-20. The biggest threat to Bush’s presidency was that bad news out of Iraq was making people feel sour about everything. When instead of seeing bombings in Iraq, they see pictures of an all-American Edwards family posing for the cameras, they feel a little better, which marginally helps the incumbent, George Bush. At least that’s my theory...."

Discussions - 3 Comments

arguing about polls at this point is truly pointless, but my weakness prevents me from abstaining. While many polls have been all over the place, Rasmussen has been carrying out a daily tracking poll that has not had a lead greater than 3 points for either candidate that lasted for more than a day over the last 2-3 months. Since the Edwards pick, Kerry has opened up a 3-4 point lead that has remained firm (for now, LOL).

While this is just one more poll, its daily nature gives it a bit more consistency and relevance than others perhaps.

I found this report of all recent polls by a bunch of outfits:
http://www.pollingreport.com/wh04gen.htm

For what it is worth, the AP is absolutely the outlier in showing a Bush bounce. some show not much improvement for Kerry, some show modest, but no others show a Bush bounce. I am sure that arguing from the exceptional data point was not intentional, but it does lack a little rigor.

"I admit that I am more perplexed than normal as to why nothing that Karry does or says (including the Edwards announcement) helps him in the polls."

Two things I things that contribute to this: First, Democrats, in general, are not jazzed by Kerry. Secondly, you can only get so much mileage out of the "Anyone but Bush" theme when it’s basically built upon a false premise: Ie., Bush is actually a likeable guy who’s done a pretty good job post-9/11.

We have a tendency to listen too much to the pundits and partisans, while that vast majority out there remain silent until election day.

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