Mitt Romney has seen little to no bounce in the wake of the Republican National Convention, according to two polls released on Tuesday.
A CNN/ORC International poll found support for Romney up by 1 point to 48 percent, putting him in a dead heat with President Obama. At the same time, a Gallup Poll found support for Romney at 46 percent, essentially the same as the 47 percent who preferred him over the president in its earlier survey.
With the electorate deeply polarized, saturated with information about the candidates, and subjected to a campaign that stretches toward two years, most recent conventions have produced smaller shifts in voter allegiance—a smaller “bounce”—than once were common.
Before the convention, senior Romney strategist Stuart Stevens played down talk of a postconvention bump for his candidate, arguing that a variety of conditions--from the weather to the Obama campaign’s enormous expenditure of money--has created a unique environment that was unlikely to provide the boost in polls that most candidates enjoyed in the past. And Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group, a senior strategist for Obama, said Tuesday that part of the reason is because conventions come at such a late point in the campaign cycle.
"I think when John Kennedy was nominated for president, it was around July 15th of 1960," Benenson said National Journal/The Atlantic/CBS News event at the Democratic National Convention. "When Bill Clinton had his convention in 1996, it was around July 20th. We are past Labor Day already ... I think the later you push them and with the more money being spent up front, if this pattern continues, I think you are going to start to see bumps minimized only because of the schedule and the process and things getting pushed back.”
In CNN’s poll, Romney’s minuscule bounce was in line with the organization’s historical data for the last two election cycles, in which no candidate’s convention bounce has exceeded 2 points.
But to Gallup, which recorded larger bounces in 2008 for both Obama and Sen. John McCain than did CNN, Romney’s performance was historically weak. Since 1964, the only other presidential candidates who failed to register a postconvention bump in Gallup polls were Democrats George McGovern and John Kerry, who both went on to lose.
Both the CNN and Gallup polls had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Each was conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.
Stacy Kaper contributed