Rasmussen poll shows few paying attention to conventions

posted at 2:01 pm on August 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The big topic over the next few weeks will be the post-convention bumps for each candidate in the presidential race.  Will Mitt Romney win some momentum going into September, or will Barack Obama reverse a months-long slide?  Two new polls out today suggest that all sides may need to manage expectations.  First, Gallup’s polling history shows that four times out of five, the polling leader before the convention ends up winning the race in the end:

 As the 2012 presidential conventions get underway in Tampa, Fla., a Gallup analysis of 15 elections from 1952 to 2008 shows that in all but three instances — 1988, 1992, and 2004 — the candidate leading in the Gallup poll conducted just prior to the first convention (the “pre-convention poll”) has won the November election.

Pre-convention polls are not good predictors of a candidate’s final vote share, but they are useful in terms of simply forecasting which candidate will win the election. Overall, 80% of the pre-convention leaders went on to become president, although that success percentage figure includes the disputed 2000 election, in which George W. Bush was elected without winning the popular vote.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been tied or very close in recent  Gallup Daily tracking averages. Gallup’s final pre-convention standing of the two candidates will be based on the Aug. 20-26 average and posted Monday afternoon on Gallup.com. If either candidate is ahead in that average, the historical data outlined below suggest that candidate is more likely to be the eventual winner, although close races such as this one suggest more potential for exceptions to that pattern.

Interestingly, this has been true whether the spread has been wide, such as 1996′s 26-point margin for Bill Clinton, or narrow, as it was with Ronald Reagan’s 3-point edge in 1980 over Jimmy Carter — both in the 30s at that time.  The 1992 exception probably has two explanations: first, it was a three-way race that Clinton won with just 42% of the popular vote, and the Pat Buchanan speech at the 1992 GOP convention was widely believed to have damaged George H. W. Bush.

In a race this close, though, one might expect to see more impact from the conventions … if they get significant voter attention.  Rasmussen’s poll today shows that few expect to watch most of the convention, and fewer independents than anyone else:

Most voters won’t be watching much of the upcoming national political conventions, and over one-third of independent voters plan to tune them out completely.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of Likely Voters plan to watch all of the GOP convention and another 16% who will watch most. A plurality (44%) expects to watch some of it, and 24% more won’t watch any of the GOP convention held in Tampa, Florida. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, only 13% who intend to watch all of the September 4-6 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Another 14% who will watch most of it. Thirty-nine percent (39%) will watch just some of the Democratic convention, and 30% plan to ignore it.

Predictably, 90% of Republican and 81% of Democrats intend to watch at least some of their respective party conventions. But just 16% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties plan to watch most of the GOP convention, and 21% of these voters say the same about the Democratic convention.

Not surprisingly, the younger voters tend to be, the less interested they are in the conventions.  Only 12% of seniors plan to watch none of the Republican convention and 22% none of the Democratic bash, either.  However, those numbers increase slightly for those between 40-64 (14% and 26%, respectively) and jump way up for those between 18-39 (43% and 37%, respectively).  That’s the highest demo for diffidence rate among gender, age, race, or party demos. Furthermore, almost as many voters believe there is too much convention coverage already (35%) than think it about right (40%), and we haven’t even opened either convention yet.

Speaking of gender demos, though, there is one interesting finding.  While there is an eight-point gap among men not planning to watch any of the Republican and Democratic conventions in favor of the GOP (25/33 respectively), there is a +4 edge for the GOP among women, too — 23/27.  That’s within the MOE, but it shows that the “war on women” rhetoric has not driven women off from interest in the Republican Party and its nominee.

Addendum: USA Today will be featuring a number of Republican voices this week to discuss and analyze the convention.  They’re also looking for bloggers to contribute to their forum.


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You know what’s more boring than a bunch of political speeches?

Nothing.

lorien1973 on August 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

angrymike

KOOLAID2 on August 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Rasmussen poll shows few paying attention to conventions

Especially today since the brain trusts in the Republican Party thought it’d be too tough to get together in the rain.

By the way, are these the same geniuses that helped select the moderators for the upcoming debates?

dirtseller on August 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

angrymike

KOOLAID2 on August 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

…I tried Mikey…for a change lorien wasn’t hitting something ! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on August 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

and fewer independents than anyone else

Apparently, these stalwarts of principle use the time honored tradition of flipping a coin to choose their presidential candidate.

jnelchef on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

The day to day campaign that will start in earnest with a large war chest behind it, and the upcoming debates will be far more important.

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Only 12% of seniors plan to watch none of the Republican convention and 22% none of the Democratic bash, either.

So if my calculations are correct, Republicans are up 10% with seniors?

dirtseller on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Well, if 4 times out of 5 the pre-convention Gallop-poll leader wins, its a good thing Gallop has Romney leading in the polls today.

WolvenOne on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I won’t watch a single second but then again, I’ve never voted for a Democrat and likely never will.

Charlemagne on August 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

with the effort to delay the start of the convention followed by the demand to stop it once it hits land out of respect to past present and future Katrina victims there’s just no time for this GOP convention…and its boring anyway…women hate the GOP…there’s no enthusiasm on that side anyway…and Hispanics don’t trust the GOP…our polls say 0% of blacks will vote GOP

Obama 2012!!111!!

DanMan on August 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

You know what’s more boring than a bunch of political speeches?

Nothing.

lorien1973 on August 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Exactly. Just get to the voting and the balloons. The rest of it is like dialogue in a porno movie.

BobMbx on August 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Some of these projections based on history slay me. Kinda like when a baseball announcer tells us that a batter is more dangerous against a certain team because he’s done well against them in the past, in spite of the fact the personell may be entirely different for both teams and the only static thing is the team name. Too many variables in these things.

a capella on August 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Gallup’s final pre-convention standing of the two candidates will be based on the Aug. 20-26 average and posted Monday afternoon on Gallup.com.

Should be slightly Romney since he’s been leading that poll for most of the week.

TarheelBen on August 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Romney 47, Obama 46

Greg Q on August 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I might watch Ann to see what she has to say, but our home already know we will vote for R&R so probably won’t watch much of it.

NO WAY in he!! would I watch bho/mo! I will get what dandy outfit mo has by reading the blogs.
L

letget on August 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I haven’t had cable or local TV for over a year, so unless it’s something I can stream, I won’t be watching. So far, I haven’t seen one speech Romney gave. I watched the primary debates, but once Romney had my anti-Obama vote, there is no reason to watch him. I have been involved in politics all my life and this is the first election that I can say I have no idea what the candidate I’m voting for stands for except he’s not a socialist.

lea on August 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Gallup’s final pre-convention standing of the two candidates will be based on the Aug. 20-26 average and posted Monday afternoon on Gallup.com.

Should be slightly Romney since he’s been leading that poll for most of the week.

TarheelBen on August 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Todays the poll they say matters. 7 day rolling average: Romney 47 Obama 46. Say bye obama

Donald Draper on August 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Not surprisingly, the younger voters tend to be, the less interested they are in the conventions.

Well, when I was young, there were only 3 channels and they all carried the conventions in all prime-time hours. It was either watch the conventions or don’t watch TV.

Bitter Clinger on August 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I have been involved in politics all my life and this is the first election that I can say I have no idea what the candidate I’m voting for stands for except he’s not a socialist.

lea on August 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Shhh!!! Don’t tell that to the ABR’s on here.

Bitter Clinger on August 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

a Gallup analysis of 15 elections from 1952 to 2008 shows that in all but three instances — 1988, 1992, and 2004

It has been wrong in 3 out of the last 6 elections, or 50% of the time? So we can conclude that there’s a 50% that Romney wins or a 50% chance Obama wins? Wow, what predictive power!!!!

AngusMc on August 27, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Rasmussen’s poll today shows that few expect to watch most of the convention, and fewer independents than anyone else:

I think it high time the Republican party institute a Dancing with the Stars format at the convention and intersperse dance numbers between political speeches and ordinary business.

Perhaps then they could get major network coverage of the convention and make inroads into the mindless vote.

MessesWithTexas on August 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Wouldn’t surprise me if the ratings weren’t great for either convention. The reason is because most people have already made up their minds(which BTW is bad news for Obama).

That being said, solid performances by both Romney and Ryan wouldn’t exactly hurt.

Doughboy on August 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Since a lot of people don’t seem to know, here’s todays Gallop poll.

Romney
47%

Obama
46%

And yes, they’re still showing Romney winning independents.

WolvenOne on August 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

First, as a cat lover the picture of the dead cat on this thread make me sad… :(
Anyway, political junkies put too much importance on things that a majority of voters do not put so much importance on… What candidates do or say have little impact on the final results of the elections. It is the reality on the ground that determines the winner and loser of an election. The reality on the ground is that the economy is very weak, the unemployment is very high, the debt and defict are on an insane level, Obamacare scraes the majority of voters, and of course in the opinion of a majority of voters Obama is an utterly failed President… When voters go to the polls on November 6 2012 the majority of them are going to ask themselves the simplest but most important question “Do we want four more years of this misery?”… Their answer would be “No, hell No”… So base on this reality Obama is going to the elections… It is the simple…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

and this is Registered voters, not likely voters.

WolvenOne on August 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

The debates, not the conventions, will tell the tale this time around.

The responsible adult willing to make the tough decisions necessary for the country vs. the petulant child who does nothing but point, blame and whine.

Landslide comin’.

RedNewEnglander on August 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Not surprisingly, the younger voters tend to be, the less interested they are in the conventions.

Well, I’m weird, I guess, but I’ve been paying close attention to them since before I was old enough to vote. :)

acasilaco on August 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM

No bounce for mitt means he’s going to lose
No bounce for dear leader no worries he’s winning the gender gap
-lsm

cmsinaz on August 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Landslide comin’.

RedNewEnglander on August 27, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I sincerely hope you’re right, but I think you have too much faith in your fellow citizens.

Unless Republicans work really hard with a sense of urgency, we’re in for four more years of Mr. Obama’s winning smile.

MessesWithTexas on August 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Ed, I didn’t think you were allowed to show a pic of AllahPundit?

faraway on August 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I sincerely hope you’re right, but I think you have too much faith in your fellow citizens.

Unless Republicans work really hard with a sense of urgency, we’re in for four more years of Mr. Obama’s winning smile.

MessesWithTexas on August 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Yes we need to keep working very hard but our chances of winning this elections are better than theirs… It is that simple…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 2:35 PM

lea on August 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

It might encourage you to watch a Romney or Ryan speech online, if you can.
If only to help wash off a bunch of leftie (or rabid ABR) dirt we’re all being splattered with, all over the place, almost hourly.

pambi on August 27, 2012 at 2:38 PM

In other news, the Dems’ War on Women and Children continues.

Dusty on August 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Well, if 4 times out of 5 the pre-convention Gallop-poll leader wins, its a good thing Gallop has Romney leading in the polls today.

WolvenOne on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Are those pre-convention polls before the RNC or the DNC Conventions?

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Exactly. Just get to the voting and the balloons. The rest of it is like dialogue in a porno movie.

BobMbx on August 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

True dat.

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

The cat’s not dead – it’s passed out, drunk, in the street. Hard partyin’ cat. Note the beer bottle.

chelie on August 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I think you can rest assured that the pic was set up with a solidly-sleeping kitty.
We used to pose ours for goofy pix, too.

pambi on August 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

In other news, the Dems’ War on Women and Children continues.

Dusty on August 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM

No child care? I consider the entire event a day camp for children.

BobMbx on August 27, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I agree with John Stossel when he said, something to the effect of, GOTV efforts are stupid. We shouldn’t be encouraging more people to vote.

I agree with Jonah Goldberg when he says young people shouldn’t be voting. Stupid non informed voters shouldn’t be voting.

Every 4 years we have to pander to the idiots in this nation while we sit on pins and needles hoping they make the right informed choice.

I think there should be a civics test before you get the privilege to vote on the future of this country. What do you think?

Asian Con on August 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

If it really is a tie or if Obama is slightly ahead, and the traditional convention story arc may not play out this year, then that imo argues even stronger for the Romney/Ryan ticket to self-produce half a dozen 30-minute live town halls and buy airtime to put them on.

Put both candidates on stage together in the first episode/town hall and the last.

Then Romney and Ryan would do 2 episodes each by themselves, one on domestic and one on foreign policy. Show your work. Use charts. Ryan integrates video charts into his egghead speeches better than anyone.

Have moderators, audience questions, and all the bells and whistles that todays interwebs make available.

No clown questions or stupidity of any kind allowed. No audience yayhoos. Just straight talk about whats at stake in November and beyond.

It appears likely that the electorate is paying closer attention than usual this year and i think they’d reward an approach like this.

Sacramento on August 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I think you can rest assured that the pic was set up with a solidly-sleeping kitty.
We used to pose ours for goofy pix, too.

pambi on August 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Thank you, I feel better :)…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 2:52 PM

For the overwhelming majority of Americans, the conventions don’t matter apart from the acceptance speech. That convention speech along with the debates are the highlights of the election cycle so with that in mind conventions do matter to the wide public.

The rest of it is mostly important to the party and its core supporters rather than the public.

lexhamfox on August 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I have been an active Republican for literally decades. I have run a county level presidential campaign [and yes, we kicked butt].

Will I watch the convention? No, unless the Leftist goons under the control of the Obama campaign start physical attacks [maybe a 1 in 3 chance].

Will I vote for Romney/Ryan? Yes, not because I think they, or any Institutional Republican will work to fix things in the country; but because they will not be openly attacking the country. We may be able to slow or stop some of the bleeding. Don’t need a convention to convince me to do that.

Will I vote for Republican candidates? We have a strong TEA Party component in our state Republican party, despite the best efforts of the party to purge us. I will vote for TEA Party endorsed candidates down ticket. I will vote for some of the Institutional Republicans who do not seem personally actively hostile to us. There are some candidates who are who would be hard to tell from Democrats if not for the “R” behind their name. They are, for some reason, most strongly supported by the Institutional Republican leadership. They can sink or swim as far as I am concerned.

Do I think that the polls and media are working for the Democrats and those farther Left? Yes, they oversample Democrats and avoid the most accurate “likely voter” sampling to bias the election.

Do I think that the majority of the country wants to throw Obama & Co. out? Yes, barely because there is a bare majority that is not dependent on the government dole.

Do I think the official election results will reflect this? No. We know that the Left cheats and a significant fraction of their votes are illegal. Their cheating may or may not be successful, but the official results will have the cheating incorporated; without protest by the Institutional Republicans. The legitimacy of the electoral process is approaching the level of a Kabuki performance by both parties. There are medium to long term implications in that.

So, why would I watch a stage managed convention that is designed to exclude the conservative base of the Republican party?

If I do [and that is not likely, because of my blood pressure] watch part of the Democrats, it will purely for gathering intelligence on what the enemies of our country are doing.

Subotai Bahadur

Subotai Bahadur on August 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Drunk cat bounce?

tomg51 on August 27, 2012 at 2:57 PM

To be fair, there hasn’t been much of anything yet for people to pay attention to except for how Isaac is affecting people. Once something happens and the networks start showing it, people might start to care.

Bobbi on August 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM

First thing I did when I read this was check out the Gallup poll. Very pleased that Romney is ahead. But has anyone noticed the Rasmussen polls lately? Polls have taken a Demwit bent the last few days. He’s showing the big nothing ahead by +3 overall and +4 in swing states. Yesterday those polls were +2 (up from the previous day) and +1. I wonder if Rasmussen is having some sampling issues? Any thoughts?

COgirl on August 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Those that are should be horrified by the RNC’s power grab attempt, taking the Republic out of the Republican Party governance.

michaelo on August 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Start with the voting already.

antisocial on August 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows President Obama attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns 44% of the vote. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

Interesting that this article failed to mention this part of Rasmussen. Romney is behind 3 points. Just the other day it was mentioned that Romney was ahead by 1 point for one day.

I really think Romneys plan to go way to the left even going pro Abortion upon telling a lie is a big problem. Leftist Republicans lose big like Dole and McCain more recently but neither were nearly this far left.

Steveangell on August 27, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I wonder if Rasmussen is having some sampling issues? Any thoughts?

COgirl on August 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I am also wondering if Rasmussen has adjusted the D/R/I sampling… We shall see… Regardless, the 3 points lead is still within the margin of error so no big deal…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I wonder if Rasmussen is having some sampling issues? Any thoughts?

COgirl on August 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM
I am also wondering if Rasmussen has adjusted the D/R/I sampling… We shall see… Regardless, the 3 points lead is still within the margin of error so no big deal…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Also I would like to add that Rasmussen poll has been going up and down between Romney and Obama for the last two weeks, so this is becoming a pattern…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

This is the only speech I’m watching.

FloatingRock on August 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I wonder if Rasmussen is having some sampling issues? Any thoughts?

COgirl on August 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I am also wondering if Rasmussen has adjusted the D/R/I sampling… We shall see… Regardless, the 3 points lead is still within the margin of error so no big deal…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

You wonder if they are from an outlier with the often alluded to weekend Dem skew compounded the anomaly? If the trend continues into mid week (Wed/Thur), that may be different.

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I want to see Christie’s speech, and Rubio and Ryan, too. But I think Christie will eviscerate Obama. I may have to break my diet and pop some popcorn for that one.

Adjoran on August 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

You wonder if they are from an outlier with the often alluded to weekend Dem skew compounded the anomaly? If the trend continues into mid week (Wed/Thur), that may be different.

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Yes… If Rasmussen still show Obama up by 2-3 points by Thursday then I suspect that he has changed his D/R/I sampling and probably is having D+4…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Thanks for the thoughts. Something just doesn’t seem right about the Rasmussen polls in the last few days. And it’s not just the overall polling. He’s started reporting swing state polls. Yesterday was +1 Obama, today it’s +4. Weird stuff.

COgirl on August 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

So Romney is up 1, in the last Gallup poll right? That’s a very good sign.

I am worried about Rassmussen too. I am used to thinking they are the best but they seem oddly not to be picking up any kind of Romney rise.

Is the rise in the rest of them some kind of phony thing so they can say he is falling later? Or is Rassmussen really off?

I don’t trust polling at all. There are too many ways to manipulate it.

petunia on August 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Apparently, these stalwarts of principle use the time honored tradition of flipping a coin to choose their presidential candidate.

jnelchef on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

If you haven’t decided by now, this year, you should be permanently disenfranchised as mentally incompetent to be an adult citizen.

Who is John Galt on August 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM

And I’m not sayin’ decided to vote Romney, I’m just sayin’ if you haven’t decided at all yet, then you’re an Idiot.

Who is John Galt on August 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Most political speeches = pandering

V-rod on August 28, 2012 at 12:20 AM

I rarely watch the actual convention speeches, but this year I’ll be trying to watch most of the Republican Convention speeches. Won’t be able to catch the Democrap Party though, awww. I’ll be cleaning my toilets instead.

But I think most of the reason that people won’t be watching the conventions is because the A-HOLES at the networks won’t be showing them, preferring to show RERUNS of terrible programming so people can eat ice cream and get fat while their eyes glaze over and their brains go into “space” mode.

What a country. Speaking of A-Holes:

Matthews told POLITICO that has received an outpouring of support — from his bosses, who he says “agree with substance of what I said,” and from fans in places as disparate as Mozambique and Jamaica.

“I have never heard — never heard — such a positive response,” Matthews said. “The people I’ve met, globally, the people who have felt this, personally — I’ve never got such a positive response.”

mountainaires on August 28, 2012 at 8:22 AM

I’d rather light my hair on fire than watch all of a convention, let alone most of it.

strictnein on August 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM