July 31, 2004


A Baby Bounce?: Kerry’s lead over Bush widens, though not substantially. (Brian Braiker, July 31, 2004, Newsweek)

Coming out of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Sen. John Kerry now holds a seven-point lead over President George W. Bush (49 percent to 42 percent) in a three-way race with independent Ralph Nader (3 percent), according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll The poll was taken over two nights, both before and after Kerry's acceptance speech. Respondents who were queried after Kerry's Thursday night speech gave the Democrat a ten-point lead over Bush. Three weeks ago, Kerry’s lead was three points.

Kerry’s four-point “bounce” is the smallest in the history of the NEWSWEEK poll. [...]

For the NEWSWEEK poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,010 adults aged 18 and older July 29 and July 30 by telephone. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Why even pay for a poll of "adults"? Usually you'd at least winnow down to registered voters. Better, you'd get down to likely voters. Was Newsweek trying to give them the biggest bounce they could?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2004 10:23 PM

I knew babies bounce. Don't ask my how, I don't want to talk about it.

Posted by: Amos at July 31, 2004 11:39 PM

oj: Yes. Is there a prize for the correct answer?

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at August 1, 2004 12:14 AM

Notice how even Newsweek, which leans left and tries very hard, has to admit that Kerry didn't get much of a bounce from the campaign

Posted by: AWW at August 1, 2004 12:31 AM

Doesn't the term "bounce" indicate an up-and-down motion? Its very use seems to reveal an implicit acknowledgement, even by liberal media, that the uptick is temporary.

Either that, or it's just sloppy use of the language.

Posted by: Tomas at August 1, 2004 11:37 AM


Yes, and yes.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at August 1, 2004 12:14 PM

I know that bumbles bounce.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 1, 2004 12:21 PM

Bush leading 50 to 47 among likely voters in new GALLUP-USATODAY-CNN poll
CNN -- Late Edition Primetime
Sun Aug 01 2004

WOLF: We're also getting new information, the first new poll numbers since the Democratic convention. they're coming in right now and they're showing an apparent difference between registered voters and likely voters. Here to explain exactly what's going on our senior political analyst Bill Schneider. Bill, this is the latest CNN/USA Today""/Gallup poll. These are numbers that were completely taken, this poll since John Kerry's acceptance speech. I want to show our viewers what the numbers show so far. among registered voters, this is important, registered voters, John Kerry is now at 50% compared to George W. Bush at 47%. you see what it was before the convention, 49/45 in favor of Kerry. among likely voters, though, take a look at this. a difference, likely voters, 50% for Bush, 47% for Kerry. A reversal, the margin of error, though, 3% in this poll you see. well, first of all, explain the difference between registered and likely voters.

SCHNEIDER: Wolf, about three-quarters of americans are registered to vote but in the presidential election typically only about half or a little bit over half will turn out to vote. so what the gallup poll does is screen people according to their interests, their intention to vote, their enthusiasm and screen out the 50% who in the typical presidential election are likely to vote. so, if this election is a typical presidential election, the likely voters show a slight lead for bush but if turnout is higher than that, and we get more registered voters actually voting that should help kerry.

WOLF: what do these numbers say about the so-called bounce out of this democratic convention?

SCHNEIDER: no bounce and that's striking. they show there might have been a very brief bounce, not a bounce but a blip i'd call it among people interviewed on friday after the convention kerry was ahead by five points. we continued to interview on saturday and those people -- bush moved into a slight lead of two points. we will continue to interview people but this looks like the shortest bounce on record.

WOLF: is that because the country basically had already made up their mind? there wasn't a whole lot of room for undecides? that's what the democrats keep saying.

SCHNEIDER: looks like they had a point. what we're see showing is before the convention the democrats were hugely enthusiastic about voting. over three-quarters said they were more enthusiastic than usual. after the convention the number of democrats who said they were enthusiastic went up only slightly. they already had their bounce but what really changed is that the republicans, the bush voters went way up in enthusiasm gaining eight points so it looks like, yes, the convention rallied voters but it rallied republicans more than democrats. the only good news for democrat, democrats are still more enthusiastic about voting than republicans are.

WOLF: we'll get more on these numbers throughout ""late edition."" thanks for that.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 1, 2004 1:45 PM

What a hoot! Just a few minutes ago I was reading an AP story about the CNN and Newsweek polls. The article mentioned that the CNN poll was of likely voters and had a margin of error of 4% but gave no details on the Newsweek poll. Hmm I wonder how the Newsweek poll was conducted?

Now I know. Heh.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at August 1, 2004 8:40 PM

I know this has been said 88 zillion times before, but is Wolf Blitzer's name for real? Any time I see it in print, I just start smiling.

Anyway, it's no surprise that convention bounces ain't what they used to be. Nobody watches 'em any more.

Posted by: Casey Abell at August 2, 2004 9:18 AM