I’m thisclose to going full eeyore on you. And trust me, you don’t want to see full eeyore. Melting-bunny videos in every post.
President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party look as if they are getting at least a preliminary bounce from their convention. Today’s (Friday, Sept. 7) Gallup Daily tracking update puts Obama’s job approval rating at 52%, the highest it has been since May 2011, after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama has also moved to a 48% to 45% lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters in the election tracking, up from Obama’s 47% to 46% margin over the last nine days.
Gallup averages the job approval rating on a three-day rolling average, meaning that today’s report encompasses interviewing conducted over the three days of the Democratic Convention in Charlotte — Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Gallup’s report of presidential election preferences are, on the other hand, based on a seven-day rolling average stretching from last Friday, the day after the GOP Convention ended, through last night.
In other words, the job approval number is the more useful indicator here because it’s not larded up with stale week-old data. And since the job approval number suddenly looks rosy, it stands to reason that O’s lead over Mitt could widen over the next few days as the pre-convention data is replaced with post-convention bounciness. Nor is this the only poll today to show an uptick for O. After the Republican convention, Romney bounced out to a four-point lead over Obama in Rasmussen’s daily tracker. Today at Ras, O’s back within one. Assuming Gallup’s right that there’s a bounce in motion, that tiny lead is likely to be erased this weekend.
Why not go full eeyore in honor of the occasion, then? Four reasons. One: O just took a roundhouse from that terrible, terrible jobs report. That’s bound to temper some of the new, Clinton-fueled enthusiasm for him. Two: Gallup’s and Rasmussen’s surveys are based for the most part on interviews conducted before O’s own widely panned speech last night. If the public was as underwhelmed by it as the commentariat, the bounce may well deflate early. Three: Gallup’s poll is of registered voters, which always skew Democratic. A 48/45 Obama lead among registereds is a de facto tie among likelies, which is precisely what Rasmussen’s finding. O’s back to even, not out to a lead. And four: Romney’s finally beginning his massive attack-ad offensive against Obama in eight key swing states today. When push comes to shove, it doesn’t much matter how O’s doing in the national daily trackers. It’s the swing-state polls that count.
Even so, no data this depressing can go without a proper video treatment. I hate to do it to you, guys, but you know the drill. Exit question via Stanley Kurtz: Are Republicans fooling themselves about how successful the Democratic convention was?
Update: A few readers have e-mailed to note that Gallup’s job approval number is based on a sample of adults, not registered voters. Right; it’s the head-to-head with Romney, where O now leads by three, that’s based on a sample of registereds. Apologies if that wasn’t clear. The point is, if we’re seeing his job approval rise among adults, that’ll probably have some similar but lesser effect among registereds and then a similar but still lesser effect among likelies. Not a huge bounce, but a little something.