Is an Obama convention bounce even possible this year?

posted at 2:01 pm on September 2, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Perhaps a better question might be, are post convention bounces in the polls a realistic expectation for anyone in the modern era? Personally, I thought the RNC came off pretty darned well, with a great introduction of Mitt Romney – the real, living, breathing human being – offered to any of the voting public who may have somehow not heard of him yet. And still, most of the pollsters seem to feel the GOP ticket’s numbers are looking fairly flat after the big party. The number of theoretical undecided voters in the final three months of the election cycle seems to be plummeting by all accounts. Unlike decades past, campaigns are thrust in everyone’s face very early in the year, draining the former pools of people who simply didn’t pay any attention until October or so.

But the Democrats have their own party coming up this week. There is little to crow about in terms of the President’s record over the past four years. High profile Democrats have been running as far away from this convention as they can, so the bench of speakers looks slim and it does nothing to bolster the confidence of the viewer. So if there’s no obvious path upward, could the convention represent a possible pitfall?

Mark McKinnon sees the upcoming festivities in Charlotte as a trap of the Democrats’ own construction.

They’re caught in a trap. And it’s a trap they built. (Yes, they did build it. Nobody else made it happen.) As the 2012 Democratic National Convention nears, I do not envy Team Obama. They have to escape from the narrative trap they’ve built.

The political parties espouse two obviously different philosophies, neither right nor wrong. Republicans believe in individual achievement for the good of the whole. Democrats believe in collective achievement for the good of the individual. But right now, individuals are collectively hurting. And the Democrats are in power. That’s a mighty big challenge to overcome.

And following a very successful Republican National Convention, there are even more.

McKinnon lays out a list of the seven biggest landmines awaiting the Democrats when the curtain rises on their celebration. One of them is the danger of projecting a perception that they’re looking backward rather than forward. With two of their biggest speakers being Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, how is this a vision for the future? And is that really the best they could find?

And what about the “war of ideas” we’ve been hearing so much about. Democrats are charging that Romney and Ryan didn’t provide “enough specifics” during their convention. But what can / should Obama offer? At least Team R&R are offering a new approach for cutting costs and reforming entitlements, but they need to be elected to enact them. Barack Obama is already in office and has been for nearly four years. If he has some brilliant new plan to fix things, why isn’t he already doing it? It’s a tough message to sell.

And then there’s the clock or, as McKinnon puts it, the “uninvited elephant in the room.” No, we’re not talking about the time of day, but rather the debt clock. The national debt is, at this point, very likely to tick over the $16T mark during the convention. Granted, there is no real difference between being 15.99999999 and 16.0000001 trillion in the hole, but it’s an unpleasant bit of optics which I’m sure the President isn’t looking forward to.

This could certainly be a minefield that the Democrats are walking into. And it’s a big change in the political landscape when your convention ceases being an opportunity for a big surge in support and becomes nothing more than the hope to avoid an election disaster.

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redridinghood on September 2, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I don’t go to The People’s Cube that often…but that place is loaded with brutal snark….

That cover is awesome….

BigWyo on September 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Lineup: Carter, the 2nd worst Pres ever, will endorse the worst Pres ever, followed by Federal perjurer and stain-maker B. Clinton and Sandra “I want the govt to pay for my contraceptives” Fluke. Mayor Villagorosa of the “Almost Bankrupt City” of L.A. and Eliz Warren, the Senate candidate who lied about her Cherokee heritage and currently trails by 5 pts in her own race, will serve as supporting cast.

Comedy Central in Charlotte.

hillsoftx on September 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM

And The Daily Show and Colbert Report will both go out of their way to portray it as a serious event.

Myron Falwell on September 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I’m no legal expert but is this not illegal as hell?

bgibbs1000 on September 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Probably…but this is the Obama Faithful…

BigWyo on September 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Be encouraged, my friends. Go see the pics from R&R rally yesterday in Jacksonville.

You’ll love the second picture of the banner, I’m sure.

Local news station estimated the crowd at 9,500.

GrannyDee on September 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

You know, when I feel my blood pressure rising I donate to Romney. I don’t work for them either, but it sure makes me feel better. I will volunteer though, and I am calling our local office on Tuesday.

Paddington on September 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

If Obama is the 2nd worst, then who’s the worst?

LevinFan on September 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Actually, if you re-read my tortured grammar, it’s Jimmy Carter who is the second worst. Obama is head-and-shoulders worse beyond even Carter’s worst performance areas.

Harbingeing on September 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

One of the landmines the Dems set for themselves: don’t the August unemployment numbers come out the day after Obama’s speech? If they are unchanged, or worse, there won’t be any bounce. And if there is a “bounce”, it will be because the poll sample is D +20 or more.

italianguy626 on September 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

The Democrat’s strategy is to supress voter turnout. That’s why they’re running all these nasty, negative ads. They want Romney to respond in kind, so that Independents will be turned off by both campaigns and stay home.

THE MEDIA IS DOING THEIR PART TO IMPLEMENT THIS STRATEGY.They are purposely trying to depress viewership for both Conventions. Think it’s a coincidence that, for the first time ever, they scaled back their Convention coverage to just 1 hour per night? I don’t watch the major networks, so I can’t say for sure that they promoted the Conventions less this year, but I’ll bet they did.

They’ll use the excuse that nobody is interested in watching these Conventions anymore. How convenient that they would come to that conclusion this year when they know that Obama himself would rather skip the Democrat Convention this time around, knowing that the contrast between Hype & Change in 2008 and Lie & Blame in 2012 will be quite palpable.

If Romney wins and people aren’t happy with the job he does, and it looks like the Democrats have a good shot at winning in 2016, the networks will say “we got a lot of criticism for our abbreviated coverage of the 2012 Conventions, so we’re going to go back to showing 2 hours a night this year”.

ardenenoch on September 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

You’re not taking into account just how much the audience for the lame-stream media has totally fragmented over the past four years. A lot of us actually followed the convention via the Blog-o-sphere, online video – the RNC streamed it via their YouTube channel – and facebook posted and Tweeted about it ad nauseum.

Could the LSM revert coverage in 2016 to screw Mitt over (per scenario you addressed)? Well, sure. But in a current world where newspapers are folding or scaling back to triweeklies, networks like CNN intentionally have no audience, and the legacy “big three” have less and less viewers and more and more critics every day? I doubt it.

Whatever “bounce” O gets, regardless of how ludicrous the pollsters make the sample size for Dems, should just be laughed right off the gate.

What I saw in the RNC convention was a group that possessed the narrative. Don’t even try to fumble it back to the Dems and LSM by cowering in fear to their “influence.”

Myron Falwell on September 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

If Obama is the 2nd worst, then who’s the worst?

IMO, it would be wison, then fdr, then carter. bho is worse than all those plus!

letget on September 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM

“Nuremberg in Charlotte” will be interesting. They have vowed to fill the stadium which seats over 70,000. They won’t be able to find that many enthusiasts, so they will be enticing warm butts with free food and drink, and those people won’t be as interested in cheering wildly for Obama once the vendors stop coming around.

So it is liable to be a tepid reception. Watch Fox to get pans of the crowd just sitting around, though, MSNBC won’t show that.

Adjoran on September 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

TOP TEN Things You Will NOT See or Hear at the D-cRAT Socialist Convention
1. The American flag
2. A Bible
3. An un-aborted fetus (i.e., an infant – NO, the mental age and behavior of the delegates and speakers do not count.)
4. Respect for the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Rule of Law or the US Military
5. A person who has CREATED a JOB
6. A person that WORKS at a job
7. A person that is NOT a member of the Choom Gang
8. A person that spends their OWN money (instead of just spending OTHER PEOPLES’ MONEY)
9. George Soros and the other BILLIONAIRES, MILLIONAIRES, union Bo$$es and other 1%-ers that provide millions to the d-cRAT socialist party.
10. Any of the thousands of OBOZO crony capitalist /crony socialists who have gotten millions of dollars of taxpayer money and then let their phony, non-competitive ventures go bankrupt with only the taxpayers getting shafted

NB: You will also NOT see Shrillary Rotten Clinton at this OBOZO event since she’s as far away from OBOZO and the DNC as she could get (while still being on Earth). The bad news: she’ll probably do another drunk, dirty dancing exhibit at this location (hey, she’s on the taxpayer dime so what do you expect?).

TeaPartyNation on September 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Barack Styrofoam Obama- puffed up, lightweight and fake.

profitsbeard on September 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

stealin’ that.

Cleombrotus on September 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Like Obama, you can say you inherited it.

profitsbeard on September 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM

TeaPartyNation on September 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

11. The chant “USA”

gophergirl on September 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I’m no legal expert but is this not illegal as hell?

bgibbs1000 on September 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Pffft. legal shmeagle. were in charge”

Chicago golfer.

VegasRick on September 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Carter is so happy, now that Obama came along.

faraway on September 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Any chance Carter uses his speech as an opportunity to brag that he is no longer the worst President in history?

SittingDeadRed on September 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Translation –
I don’t want to work, I don’t want to go to work, I don’t wanna talk about work, I don’t wanna meet anyone who works, I just wanna sit at home and watch TV and drink beer in my jammies …..whhaaaaaa….wwaaaaahhhaaa…

burrata on September 2, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Just let me eat my waffle.

SittingDeadRed on September 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM

It will be like the Bin Laden bounce only 1/10 as great then right back to where you were before.

Wigglesworth on September 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM

The rumor is SEAL Team 6 is going to appear on stage with Admiral McRaven. You know like Romney had all those Olympic athletes make an appearance.

Wigglesworth on September 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

What’s the opposite of a bounce? After the coming insanity in Charlotte, that’s what he’ll get.

jan3 on September 2, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The rumor is SEAL Team 6 is going to appear on stage with Admiral McRaven. You know like Romney had all those Olympic athletes make an appearance.

Wigglesworth on September 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Hopefully you forgot your /sarc tag.

The identities of current Seal Team Six members is classified information and the only people who could force those guys to get up on the podium and put their families at risk are …

… Seal Team Six

PolAgnostic on September 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Is the opposite of a post-convention bounce a post-convention crater? That is what I am expecting.

Sheerq on September 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Could their convention actually result in a lower rating-the opposite of a bounce? Lite the candles oh faithful ones.

Don L on September 2, 2012 at 7:31 PM

If he has some brilliant new plan to fix things, why isn’t he already doing it?

New ideas? Not likely. Just the same failed tired one’s The Socialist in Chief has been pushing since Day One.

GarandFan on September 2, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Harbingeing on September 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I saw what you did there…

…and I loled. :)

Solaratov on September 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM

How can the Dims say the GOP did not offer solutions?

HellCat on September 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Easy! They lied.

Solaratov on September 2, 2012 at 8:03 PM



Akzed on September 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Im tired of being called evil racist stupid crazy ect…

ldbgcoleman on September 2, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Yep. Cast the aspersions long enough, widely enough and loudly enough, and eventually people realize, “Hey, he’s talking about me.”

Barnestormer on September 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM

11. The chant “USA”

gophergirl on September 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Do you know what is absolutely hilarious about this and makes it so true? I was listening to CSPAN on the radio on the way in to work today, and it was a broadcast of an Obama shindig. Obama said something snarky about Romney, and someone in the crowd tried to get a chant of “USA…USA…USA!” going…it got a few voices added to it…and lasted all of maybe 10 seconds. It made me laugh so hard, remembering the raucous and excited chanting of the same at the RNC last week. :)

Highlar on September 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

How can the Dims say the GOP did not offer solutions?

HellCat on September 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM

How? Easy…because its the only thing they CAN do. I absolutely love how Democrats are always harping on how “Romney doesn’t give specifics on the campaign trail or at the RNC!” as if he who says it loudest if believed the most. Do they think we are idiots, and not know that these places are NOT where specifics are given??? Obama is always even LESS specific! At least Romney always covers his 5 point plan at every campaign rally. Obama (and yeah…I’ve forced myself to listen to a few of his speeches) are nothing but snark. He bashes Romney and Republicans foe being snarky…then just turns around and does the EXACT same thing he just bashed them on! Its insane how he can double speak like that and expect to NOT be called on it. Clint was absolutely right: this is NOT a nice guy.

PS: I’m waiting for the MSNBC crowd to label the word “Obama” as a racist “dog whistle” to try and clam up ANY talk about their golden vunderkid. hehehe

Highlar on September 2, 2012 at 10:22 PM

And maybe a little OT…but one of the things which is really starting to chap my hide that Obama and the bots say lately is how the “trickle down” economic policies (supply side economics) of Romney/Ryan “don’t work”. Its like the conveniently forget the economic BOOM under Reagan…the economic BOOM under the first six years of Bush (BEFORE the democrats took over Congress)…and how the economic boom under Clinton ONLY occurred when he took a HARD turn for the center and started implementing REPUBLICAN tax cuts and spending breaks and such. That it was Republican policies that Clinton passed that lead to a surplus!

And it kind of ticks me off how no one on our side comes out and asserts this in the media. I’m REALLY hoping Romney pulls out adds about that to counteract the “last century policies” line that those on the left are trying to push now.

Highlar on September 2, 2012 at 10:26 PM

You know what Clinton is thinking? Can I get into Sandra Fluke’s shorts? You know it’s true. He is going to be on that as fast as a paint job on a stolen car.

smellthecoffee on September 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM

The mere fact that the leadership of the left admits not to expect the usual larger number of delegates at their Confrontation OH!!! sorry Conventioneers.

Basically, the left has gotten the word from a “Higher Being” that they are not to worship others more than (him/her). The evidence, the boss that “Higher Being”, is eroding President Obama’s image of himself faster than the EPA can if his supporters try to have his likeness on Mt. Rushmore, ever.

MSGTAS on September 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM

“Ladies and Gentlemen, after considered deliberation and thought, I cannot accept your nomination for President of the United States.”

TXUS on September 2, 2012 at 2:51 PM

For Four long miserable… politically, not personally, YEARS I have patiently watched the first few minutes of every Obama speech for the words… I resign… I am not a crook… but I will wait for those, then watch anything else I can find.

Although, the words, “My fellow Americans, for the good of the country, do not send this loser back to the White House for four more years of hell.” Bill Clinton

Those words would do.

petunia on September 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Can we have a little historical perspective when it comes to the title of “Worst President Ever”?

Obama and Carter certainly duke it out for the title of “Worst President in our Lifetimes”?

However, Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown, the first shots of the Civil War; these all happened on James Buchanan’s watch.

Unless large organized groups of Americans are shooting at one another in early 2013, Obama can’t take the title from Buchanan.

kenashimame on September 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM