Frank Newport, PhD, the Editor-in-Chief of Gallup, says there’s no sign of a convention bounce for Mitt Romney and the GOP yet — an assertion that seems to be seconded by a poll in Florida, where you’d think there would have been some kind of bounce:
The two-week convention phase of this election is now at its midpoint. We won’t know what the impact of the two conventions is until roughly Sept. 7-13, the full week after the Democratic convention closes in Charlotte. That will mark the beginning of Phase VI of the election – the period between the conventions and the first presidential debate on Oct. 3. The key question after next week’s Democratic convention will be: Has the race for president been fundamentally reset in any way by the two weeks of the conventions? By “reset,” I mean has either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney moved ahead in the national vote by more than a few points, and stayed ahead for more than a few days?
We have been monitoring the potential impact of the Republican convention on the presidential race on a day-by-day basis. So far, we don’t see an impact. We report a seven-day rolling average of registered voters each day, each of which is based on more than 3,000 interviews. This reporting period is a very purposeful decision on our part — even if a bit more “sluggish” than if we reported a three- or four-day average. The longer average dampens down short-term changes, and puts more of an emphasis on sustained changes.
The seven-day average has been at 47% Obama, 46% Romney for the last five days. As a matter of fact, both Obama and Romney for the most part have been at or around 46% since we began tracking in April. The latest Gallup average covers Aug. 26-Sept. 1, or Sunday through Saturday. That for the most part covers the GOP convention, albeit with only two days of polling completely after Thursday’s climactic events, including Mitt Romney’s speech, and actor Clint Eastwood’s appearance.
At this point, as noted, there is no consistent change in the pattern of vote intentions within our Daily tracking. Each of the two candidates has been up at some point over the last week in the individual nightly numbers, but that’s normal. Romney so far has not been able to generate a sustained “bounce” from his convention over the last week.
Meanwhile, a new PPP Poll finds no bounce for Romney in Florida:
PPP’s newest Florida poll, conducted completely after the Republican convention, finds no change in the Presidential race there. Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 48-47, exactly as he did on our last poll of the state five weeks ago.
The Republican convention being held in Tampa appears to have been a wash. 33% of voters say it made them more likely to vote for Republicans, 33% said it made them less likely to vote for Republicans, and 34% said it didn’t make a difference to them either way.
Romney did see a slight bump in his favorability numbers. 49% of voters have a positive opinion of him to 47% with a negative one. That +2 spread is up a net 5 points from late July when his breakdown was 46/49.
And just as in the primaries we see another pattern repeating: the poll finds that the other speakers were more of a hit than Mitt Romney:
The rest of the speakers at the convention seem to have been more of a hit with voters. Condoleezza Rice’s numbers in particular stand out. 66% of voters see her favorably to 22% with a negative opinion. That’s up a net 13 points from our last poll when she was already pretty darn popular at 59/28. Even with Democrats Rice comes in at 47/36. Another star from the convention is Ann Romney. 56% of voters give her good marks to 22% with an unfavorable opinion and she comes close to breaking even with Democrats at 32/39.
And Clint Eastwood? Since his…novel…appearance at the Republican convention, Eastwood’s monologue with an empty chair, Eastwood’s riff created a whole new cottage industry in derisive Tweets, and new and old media analysis. Many thoughtful GOPers tried to say as little as possible about it or privately told journalists it would have been (at the very least) best if he had not been allowed 10 minutes of totally unscripted time. But, at the same time, there is a segment of GOPers who’ve insisted it was a brilliant political masterstroke, a contrast with the Democrats that will help Romney win the election. Some cartoonists and pundits have picked up the “empty chair” tag and use it on Obama.
But the poll shows that the original consensus was correct.
No, it wasn’t exactly a political masterstroke:
Clint Eastwood’s speech may have drawn more attention than anything else that happened at the convention and it didn’t go over particularly well with voters. 36% say they have a favorable opinion of his remarks to 41% with a negative opinion. While Eastwood’s speech didn’t do much to help Romney it doesn’t seem to have hurt his own reputation either. 72% of Floridians have a favorable opinion of him to 11% with a negative one and even with Democrats the spread is 58/20. Those are certainly numbers any politician would die for.
The biggest winner? Someone who is a person to watch in the future — and his name isn’t Paul Ryanb:
The biggest winner of the convention on the Republican side may have been Marco Rubio. He now has a 51% approval rating with 33% of voters disapproving of him. Those are the best numbers PPP has found for him since he took office. He is pretty universally beloved by GOP voters at 85/11 and even with Democrats he has a 26% approval rating, more crossover support than we usually find for folks these days.
Everyone else who spoke in the 10 PM hour at the convention has better favorability numbers than Mitt Romney. Besides those already mentioned Susana Martinez has a +19 spread at 35/16, Chris Christie has a +9 spread at 41/32, and Paul Ryan has a +7 spread at 47/40.
But this won’t stop the political spin, which both parties do. Expect the spin — demonstrably false assertions — to continue about the convention and it’s impact.
FOOTNOTE: Partisans will always question the methodology or try to discredit a poll that shows their candidate behind. But when the same poll shows them ahead, they trumpet it. I remind readers of this on almost every polling story.
Another Gallup Poll as noted HERE found that Romney’s acceptance speech was the lowest rated Presidential nomination acceptance speech recorded by Gallup since 1996.