The dead-cat bounce

posted at 9:20 pm on June 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

After cinching the nomination and getting Hillary Clinton’s endorsement, everyone expected Barack Obama to have a substantial bounce in the polls. Not only did the uptick seem paltry at seven, it has shrunk to less than half of that number within the week. The daily Gallup tracking poll now shows John McCain within the margin of error, only three points back:

Barack Obama leads John McCain in national registered voter preferences for the election, but by a slightly narrower margin than he had earlier this week, 46% vs. 43%.

Although Obama’s three percentage point advantage is statistically significant, it is down from the 6- to 7-point leads he had in Gallup Poll Daily tracking reports on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

What’s remarkable about this poll is how closely McCain has tracked with Obama over the last several weeks. Despite mostly being out of the media limelight, he has only trailed by seven at the height of the Obama bounce. For most of the last three weeks, the gap has been within the margin, and McCain has even led slightly at times. The race appears ready to return to that status much more quickly than anyone would have guessed.

That doesn’t bode well for Obama, neither in the length nor the amplitude of his bounce. It suggests that even all of the laudatory coverage of his historic nomination, as well as his remarkable achievement in beating the Clinton machine, cannot mask the weakness of his candidacy. His series of stumbles that started in April continue, and with only him and McCain in the race, they will get magnified. Meanwhile, McCain will start gaining more attention from the media, having survived the drought in fine fashion.

Team McCain has to be pleased with his relative position. Obama’s campaign should have more concerns about his staying power.


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Too bad McCain doesn’t know how to really touch the American people. He should be hammering home the point that the Democrats of Obama’s ilk are responsible for the ridiculously high energy prices and lay that responsibility right at the feet of Obama.

Too bad McCain complains about the Katrina response and the “obscene” profits of the evil oilmen, when he should be getting out there and demanding that we start drilling domestically. Now.

john1schn on June 13, 2008 at 9:27 PM

McCain has even led slightly at times. The race appears ready to return to that status much more quickly than anyone would have guessed.

Ed

Oh, Ed. Now you’re just taunting Allah, aren’t you?

Jaibones on June 13, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Jaibones on June 13, 2008 at 9:29 PM

This site is an emotional basketcase isnt it? Optimist Ed, Pessimist AP.

lorien1973 on June 13, 2008 at 9:32 PM

“The dead-cat bounce”? I love the metaphor. Thanks for a good laugh. Now, whenever Obama’s name comes up, I’m gonna think of dead cats being tossed hard to the floor. Thump!

Rational Thought on June 13, 2008 at 9:35 PM

OH OH,I bet Obama, Hopes it Changes!

And wait till the left leaning in da tank
Liberal MSM finds out,me thinks Sorro’s
going to call someone to the carpet over
this for a proper reaming! Hehe.

canopfor on June 13, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Eh… Rasmussen is showing 7 points still for Obama, and Obama winning the electoral votes (ignoring toss-ups).

Basically, if McCain takes OH and NV, he might win, but the polls aren’t looking great at this moment.

DaveS on June 13, 2008 at 9:41 PM

McCain has even led slightly at times.

Somehow, I just can’t get excited about that. Je m’ennuie.

fourstringfuror on June 13, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Check out the Hope and CHEnge posters behind the judge who decided the death penalty case in Ohio.

http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDc2NzBjZTI5YjQ5MGQxMWZkODJiZjhiN2IyMzg4MTE=

ninjapirate on June 13, 2008 at 9:46 PM

After cinching the nomination and getting Hillary Clinton’s endorsement, everyone expected Barack Obama to have a substantial bounce in the polls.

I don’t think that everyone did. I think that he will get his big bounce at the Dem convention. McCain at the Rep convention? Probably not so much.

Despite mostly being out of the media limelight

And mostly out of the line of fire as the dems were firing at each other.

BTW, Rasmussen Tracking (06/10 – 06/12) which unlike Gallup does likely voters has Obama up by 5 and Rasmussen says, “These results have been remarkably stable since Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination just over a week ago.”

MB4 on June 13, 2008 at 9:48 PM

The Straight Talk Express bus has a much smoother ride.

RBMN on June 13, 2008 at 9:51 PM

This site is an emotional basketcase isnt it? Optimist Ed, Pessimist AP.

lorien1973 on June 13, 2008 at 9:32 PM

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true.

Murphy9 on June 13, 2008 at 9:52 PM

The Straight Talk Express bus has a much smoother ride.

RBMN on June 13, 2008 at 9:51 PM

The light at the end of the tunnel is a train.

Murphy9 on June 13, 2008 at 9:53 PM

Check out the Hope and CHEnge posters behind the judge who decided the death penalty case in Ohio.

http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDc2NzBjZTI5YjQ5MGQxMWZkODJiZjhiN2IyMzg4MTE=

ninjapirate on June 13, 2008 at 9:46 PM

You with your hesitating
And you always contemplating
What to do
When heaven has found you
Can’t you see
That it’s all wrapped up in the Messiah that’s me
So follow me

Come on, voters
Follow me
I’m Obama the Piper
Follow me
I’m Obama the Piper
And I’ll show you where Hope and Change is at
Come on, voters
Can’t you see
I’m Obama the Piper
Trust in me

Voters
Don’t be scared to into the White House to help me move
Hey, voters
What do you think I’m tryin’ to prove
It ain’t true
That My Michelle would like to punch and kick you
It’s just in your mind
And that’s all that’s trickin’ you
So step in line

Come on, voters
Follow me
Come on, voters
Trust in me
Come on, voters
Can’t you see
Come on, voters
Follow me
I’m Obama the Piper

MB4 on June 13, 2008 at 9:56 PM

John McCain could really touch the American people by adopting Newt Gingrich’s plan to reduce oil prices, even if he still shields that moonscape, ANWR. Newt’s plan is inspired, almost sheer genius, particularly his understanding of how to “put it to” the speculators who are making a mint over oil prices. If you missed it before, please take a moment to visit this link:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/12/gingrich-three-ways-to-reduce-the-cost-of-oil/

Speaker Gingrich may have his faults/limitations, but man, does he know his stuff when it comes to energy planning. Call me stupid, but this seems to make good common sense. I’m clickin’ the rosary beads that McCain will listen and adopt something at least similar.

marybel on June 13, 2008 at 10:00 PM

When does football season start? :}

tired of all this politics already..

Voting for McCain in November.

Chakra Hammer on June 13, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Obama: Do you have Hope?
Sheeple: I believe!
Obama: Do you want change?
Sheeple: I believe!!
Obama: Is John McCain a senile old coot?
Sheeple: I believe!!!
Obama: Is My Michelle your Mama?
Sheeple: I believe!!!
Obama: Am I your Messiah?
Sheeple: I believe!!!
Obama: Will I win the election?
Sheeple: I believe!!!

MB4 on June 13, 2008 at 10:03 PM

When does football season start? :}

Chakra Hammer on June 13, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Not soon enough.

MB4 on June 13, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Y’know what I think it might be?

The overwhelming strength of John McCain!

Rhinoboy on June 13, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Check out hope and change.
ninjapirate on June 13,2008 at 9:46PM.

ninjapirate: Thanks for the heads up!Is that okay
for a judge to have that in his office
during an election?

And,boy the Left are confident aren’t they!

canopfor on June 13, 2008 at 10:22 PM

He should be hammering home the point that the Democrats of Obama’s ilk are responsible for the ridiculously high energy prices and lay that responsibility right at the feet of Obama.

That would be dishonest. McCain bears as much if not more responsibility for the ridiculously high energy prices.

You want McCain to morph into a conservative but it won’t happen.

aengus on June 13, 2008 at 10:28 PM

You want McCain to morph into a conservative but it won’t happen.

aengus on June 13, 2008 at 10:28 PM

You would have better luck trying to spin gold from straw.

MB4 on June 13, 2008 at 10:32 PM

everyone expected Barack Obama to have a substantial bounce in the polls. Not only did the uptick seem paltry at seven, it has shrunk to less than half of that number within the week.

This is the election where nobody likes either candidate. real Republicans and real Democrats want real choices. Thy are offered dumb and dumber where both Obama and McCain are seeking to win by being less offensive.

This isn’t the way we should be picking a leader but that is the landscape in 2008.

highhopes on June 13, 2008 at 10:43 PM

The overwhelming strength of John McCain!
Rhinoboy on June 13, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Oh, The Irony.

LegendHasIt on June 13, 2008 at 10:44 PM

I’m clickin’ the rosary beads that McCain will listen and adopt something at least similar. tell me something similar to what he thinks I want to hear in the last hour to get my vote.

marybel on June 13, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Don’t worry. At some point McCain will say (in his new “I’m not temperamental or angry” whisper voice) something like “Yes, uh…you know I totally understand the voices of the people that want to drill. Uh…I got the message…believe me, I got the message,…and I uh..will do everything …uh…I can to bring..uh……both sides together on this issue to…uh..in the end ….do what is right for the American people….uh…I will listen to Newt and others and we will work together for a solution that helps America.”

nottakingsides on June 13, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Until someone asks me, polls are like opinions and assholes.

Everybody’s got one.

Kini on June 13, 2008 at 11:13 PM

The overwhelming strength of John McCain!
Rhinoboy on June 13, 2008 at 10:14 PM
Oh, The Irony.

LegendHasIt on June 13, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Ouch. Hoisted with my own ironical petard.

Rhinoboy on June 13, 2008 at 11:27 PM

Wasn’t sure if it was sarcasm or not.
Haven’t really noticed you around here before.
If a ‘newbie’, welcome… If an oldster that I just missed prior to now, my apologies for not knowing any better.

LegendHasIt on June 13, 2008 at 11:32 PM

Noonan in her hit piece says “everyone knows he (Obama)is ahead…everyone knows this is the Democrats year…blah blah blah…” She is in bed/tank or whatever with this messiah and is hopelessly biased.

wepeople on June 13, 2008 at 11:33 PM

Untill someone asks me,
Kini on June 13,2008 at 11:13PM.

Kini: Hehe,yup,ain’t that the truth!

canopfor on June 13, 2008 at 11:36 PM

Right…it was supposed to be the Democrats’ year in 1988…and in 2000…how’d that work out?

This is still, as Hugh Hewitt likes to say, a center-right country and there is no way Barack Obama can remake himself into a center-right candidate by November.

Besides, the Countrywide cheap-loans-for-Democrats scandal is going to dwarf the Jack Abramoff scandal.

rockmom on June 13, 2008 at 11:39 PM

What’s remarkable about this poll is how closely McCain has tracked with Obama over the last several weeks. Despite mostly being out of the media limelight, he has only trailed by seven at the height of the Obama bounce. For most of the last three weeks, the gap has been within the margin, and McCain has even led slightly at times.

Thanks, Pollyanna, but come November, if Obama wins by “only” 7%, he wins big. If he wins by a narrower margin in the statistical noise range, he still wins.

All is not lost, but we do have our work cut out for us. We do our side no favors by pretending otherwise.

Xrlq on June 13, 2008 at 11:42 PM

LegendHasIt on June 13, 2008 at 11:32 PM

No worries mate!
I’ve only been around a year or so, and am not prolific in commenting. This one was snark. Just about all of mine are snark. I’ll try not to be so dry.

Thanks for the welcome!

Rhinoboy on June 14, 2008 at 12:04 AM

That would be dishonest. McCain bears as much if not more responsibility for the ridiculously high energy prices.

You want McCain to morph into a conservative but it won’t happen.

aengus on June 13, 2008 at 10:28 PM

Of course it would be dishonest. I wouldn’t mind a flip flop on his part right about now. I don’t want him to morph into a conservative, I want him to pay fracking attention to what the American people have to put up with. This gas tax holiday won’t do at this point. Opening up the strategic reserve won’t do it. Drilling will. If we allow drilling, the price will come down LONG before the oil starts to flow. Prices are now being driven by speculators, and as soon as they see that their cash teat is about to dry up, they’ll lose interest in bidding up the price.

john1schn on June 14, 2008 at 12:05 AM

XRLQ,

Dukakis had a 17-point lead on GHWB, and Kerry had a double-digit lead over GWB. Obama, for all of his Obamessiah coverage, hasn’t gotten past 7 points. It may not be dispositive, but Obama is a lousy closer and McCain is a very good closer. If he can’t get a better bounce from the paroxysm of unity celebrations last weekend, he’s in trouble.

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 12:18 AM

Rhinoboy,

Legend is excellent, he is the most pleasant and reasonable of all the TC/MDSers

Squid Shark on June 14, 2008 at 12:19 AM

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 12:18 AM

He’ll probably get a big bounce after the the Dem Convention, no?

terryannonline on June 14, 2008 at 12:26 AM

Noonan in her hit piece says “everyone knows he (Obama)is ahead…everyone knows this is the Democrats year…blah blah blah…” She is in bed/tank or whatever with this messiah and is hopelessly biased. — wepeople

I don’t know what happened to Noonan but SOMEthing did. She’s been breathin’ the bad air and not the good for a while now and the results are showing in increased intensity in her columns. Something’s just gone off there. I always feel suspicious about people that are affected so intensely by trends as she lately has shown herself to be and I expect at any moment now she’ll start writing about the good works of Code Pink.

S on June 14, 2008 at 12:30 AM

He’ll probably get a big bounce after the the Dem Convention, no? — terryannonline

I sense a Southpark episode…

S on June 14, 2008 at 12:31 AM

Generally speaking, when an election is close, the conservative candidate tends to win. Conservative voting blocs, the elderly in particular, are much more reliable voters than Liberal voting blocs, especially the young. McCain may need to only trail slightly going into the election, depending on how the electoral map looks.

Then again, changes in technology – particularly the increased use of cell phones and cell phones alone among traditional Liberal voting blocs – could skew the numbers.

ChePibe on June 14, 2008 at 12:36 AM

This site is an emotional basketcase isnt it? Optimist Ed, Pessimist AP.

lorien1973 on June 13, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Pessimism will not defeat Obama.

Connie on June 14, 2008 at 12:40 AM

…pleasant and reasonable …
Squid Shark on June 14, 2008 at 12:19 AM

How Dare you!
Them’s fightin’ words.
;-)

LegendHasIt on June 14, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 12:18 AM

I was going to mention this. If Obama had a 20 point lead you’d dismiss it (as Dukakis had a similar lead), if he had a single digit lead you’d dismiss it (as you do now), and if he didn’t have a lead at all you’d claim it as a gigantic victory for McCain. Spin is so fun!

Nonfactor on June 14, 2008 at 12:59 AM

He’ll probably get a big bounce after the the Dem Convention, no?

terryannonline on June 14, 2008 at 12:26 AM

Yeah, but the Democrats scheduled theirs the week before the GOP convention. Just when Obama would be getting the advantage of all the attention of the convention, the media will be shifting its attention to McCain. Last year the Democrats had six weeks of Kerry attention before the RNC, not that it did him much good in the end.

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 1:09 AM

Pessimism will not defeat Obama.

Connie on June 14, 2008 at 12:40 AM

And undue optimism will only make the pain worse this November.

MB4 on June 14, 2008 at 1:13 AM

Spin is so fun!

Nonfactor on June 14, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Indeed: CNN International, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, etc. etc. etc. 24 hours a day, not to mention all the international stations and the domestic/int’l newspapers, with very few exceptions. And, they claim to work for the public, and to keep the government/s honest.

Entelechy on June 14, 2008 at 1:15 AM

Let’s not get cocky/optimistic, giddy, snotty, snooty, nor depressed. Let’s just stay realistic.

Entelechy on June 14, 2008 at 1:16 AM

McCain is a very good closer.

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 12:18 AM

I dunno. He didn’t close that McCain/Kennedy so well.

MB4 on June 14, 2008 at 1:19 AM

Let’s not get cocky/optimistic, giddy, snotty, snooty, nor depressed. Let’s just stay realistic.

Entelechy on June 14, 2008 at 1:16 AM

How ’bout drunk? Those who are non drinkers may want to start easing into it ’cause by November they may need quite a number of drinks.

MB4 on June 14, 2008 at 1:21 AM

Dukakis had a 17-point lead on GHWB, and Kerry had a double-digit lead over GWB. Obama, for all of his Obamessiah coverage, hasn’t gotten past 7 points. It may not be dispositive, but Obama is a lousy closer and McCain is a very good closer. If he can’t get a better bounce from the paroxysm of unity celebrations last weekend, he’s in trouble.

Ed Morrissey on June 14, 2008 at 12:18 AM

I remember the Dukakis polls quite well. I was stuffing envelopes for GHWB in TX at the time.

funky chicken on June 14, 2008 at 1:55 AM

It suggests that even all of the laudatory coverage of his historic nomination, as well as his remarkable achievement in beating the Clinton machine, cannot mask the weakness of his candidacy.

The laudatory coverage, is the cause of the “dead-cat bounce.” I was tired of seeing his face a month ago. Today it is hard to watch video clips of him. All the hoopla has increased my animous towards his policies and personality driven campaign.

Theworldisnotenough on June 14, 2008 at 2:14 AM

Brit Hume is right: the race is not about McCain, but almost entirely about Obams

But then, 1972 was about McGOvern
1984 was about Mondale

and yes, 1964 was about the Other Barry

Janos Hunyadi on June 14, 2008 at 2:21 AM

I do not want to sound overconfident or smug but Ed’s point is well taken. Obama has glaring weaknesses:

White men. There was an article that described your average white male voter. Didn’t want anything from government, strong defense, less taxes, etc. Where is that voter represented within the Democrat party? Kerry did notget the whote male vote as a white male. In a primary season that made very clear that white men were in the back of the bus where do the white males that turn out in November go? We know where they do not go, which gives McCain the edge in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missuori, maybe just maybe Wisconsin too.

Jews. Come on. Obama’s past remarks on Israel and “Palestinians” will keep the Jewish voter most likely to show up on election day in the McCain column. Not to mention recent tension in New York. A smart ground game by McCain in that state could force Obama to go on the defensive and spend some money there when I doubt with the lead he has plans on running more than a commerical or two.

Abortion, the issue wont hide forever. His staunch support for partial birth abortion will bring out conservatives that know the only way to change the nature of abortion in this country is to have another conservative on the court. Throw in the latest episode of judicial activism by SCOTUS and you have a good reason for socially conservative voters to go to the polls.

The media, can’t hjelp him. No one trusts it least of all centrists, conservatives, or white men. The media’s coverage of Iraq has so eroded their credibility that they are not an asset to Obama. Even now with critical coverage of Obama I doubt they get the trust back

There are more issues but the point remains, Obama has uneploited weaknesses that should make his small lead a worry. Presidential elections tend to break late for conservatives. Even Reagan was way down in the polls. Reagan! And this was after 4 years of Carter. Much more works needs to be done but I cannot help but look at the hand dealt and think McCain will not be washed away come November.

Theworldisnotenough on June 14, 2008 at 2:47 AM

It is possible that Obama would have gotten more of a bounce except for the polarization and bad feelings right now between them and the Clinton supporters.

That would seem to be holding down the numbers some and I think many are waiting to see the outcome of the convention and if their is a back room deal to somehow put Clinton back in the top spot. Long shot but with them anything is possible.

There is a fight going on here outside of Obama / Clinton it is in the progressive left / conventional dem factions and there is a lot to happen there yet to be played out.

Also 4 states jumped ahead of their earliest poll dates the DNC ruled as allowable and have not been punished and this will all be dealt with at the convention.

CommentGuy on June 14, 2008 at 4:02 AM

Jesus Christ! Does anyone know how to remove cat urine from a rug?

mylegsareswollen on June 14, 2008 at 5:08 AM

I wonder if Dennis Kucinich got the nomination, would he be bouncing in the polls now?

Come on, give Hussein a break.

After all, it is going to be eight long years for him in the Black House.

Let him breath a little.

Hillary was a pain in his ass.

Indy Conservative on June 14, 2008 at 6:39 AM

“The dead-cat bounce”? I love the metaphor. Thanks for a good laugh. Now, whenever Obama’s name comes up, I’m gonna think of dead cats being tossed hard to the floor. Thump!

Rational Thought on June 13, 2008 at 9:35 PM

From the financial world. Used to describe a worthless company whose stock seemingly snaps back to life, snookers a few buyers in, and then bottoms again.

JiangxiDad on June 14, 2008 at 7:34 AM

With a margin of error +-2 points, that comes to 44% Obama & 45% McCain (if MOE is utilized).

Hmm. Interesting. I think the more news that comes out on Obama, the lower his rating. The convention should prove HIGHLY entertaining.

Miss_Anthrope on June 14, 2008 at 8:26 AM

Miss_Anthrope on June 14, 2008 at 8:26 AM

And if you added 10 points for the candidate trailing in the polls and subtracted 10 points from the leading candidate you’d have a real story!

Nonfactor on June 14, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Indy Conservative on June 14, 2008 at 6:39 AM

My heart bleeds …. really.

OldEnglish on June 14, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Besides Clinton America has gotten it right for the last 30 years. Have faith people.

BHO’s “white folks’ greed runs a world in need…” line is going to hurt him among the TWP’s. (typical white persons)

Mojave Mark on June 14, 2008 at 9:41 AM

I was tired of seeing his face a month ago. Today it is hard to watch video clips of him. All the hoopla has increased my animous towards his policies and personality driven campaign.

Theworldisnotenough on June 14, 2008 at 2:14 AM

Me too. He reminds me of my divorce trial – every day I had to go into a room where nobody cared whether I lived or died and yet I was forced to sit there as if it was all good.

Crawling over broken glass looks preferable, in comparison to either BHO or my ex-wife.

platypus on June 14, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Dukakis had a 17-point lead on GHWB, and Kerry had a double-digit lead over GWB.

My point exactly: pre-Labor Day polls don’t mean squat. Nevertheless, to the extent they mean anything at all, polls showing Candidate A leading Candidate B by “only” 7 points are better news for Candidate A than for Candidate B.

Xrlq on June 14, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Check out the Hope and CHEnge posters behind the judge who decided the death penalty case in Ohio.

http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDc2NzBjZTI5YjQ5MGQxMWZkODJiZjhiN2IyMzg4MTE=

ninjapirate on June 13, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Wow! I wonder if he’s on Barry’s short list for the Supremes.

Buy Danish on June 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true.

Murphy9 on June 13, 2008 at 9:52 PM

The glass is half full if water was poured into it, half empty if water was poured out.

Akzed on June 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Obama … should have more concerns about his staying power.

Sexual, with a tinge or racism.

tommylotto on June 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM

How ’bout drunk? Those who are non drinkers may want to start easing into it ’cause by November they may need quite a number of drinks.

MB4 on June 14, 2008 at 1:21 AM

Tuco would say “guns and gold don’t mix well with alcohol”.

Entelechy on June 14, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Xrlq on June 14, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Only if you discount the fifteen to twenty points the polls are skewed toward the Democrat.

Al in St. Lou on June 14, 2008 at 9:37 PM