I saw those polls over the weekend that showed a double-digit Bush lead and thought, "Well, that means that when the bounce wears off, Bush will be up by 7 points or so." But it's not at all clear that those polls were an accurate reflection of even a temporary infatuation.
Now comes CNN/USA Today/Gallup. If Gallup's right, how tiny will Bush's lead be -- will it exist at all -- when this wears off?
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup post-Republican convention poll -- the first national poll conducted entirely after the completion of that convention -- shows George W. Bush getting a small increase in voter support.... Bush now leads Kerry by 52% to 45% among likely voters, compared with a 50% to 47% lead for Bush prior to the convention.
And among registered voters rather than likely voters,
the candidates are essentially tied, with 49% saying they would vote for Bush and 48% for Kerry in the two-candidate race; and 48% for Bush, 46% for Kerry, and 4% for Nader in the three-candidate race.
Tell me more:
Bush's two-point convention bounce is one of the smallest registered in Gallup polling history.... Bush's bounce is the smallest an incumbent president has received.
So, no "mo."
Matthew Yglesias apparently believes all these polls -- the double-digits and Gallup. He thinks that
something a bit nutty is going on with polls taken on, say, Friday showing dramatically different results from polls taken over the weekend. Is this "faster public opinion" where people love Bush after seeing his speak and then forget all about it after 36 hours of hurricane coverage?
No. I think I know what might be going on. Years ago -- I can't find the passage now -- Roy Blount Jr. wrote that while growing up in Georgia he would go to revival meetings and get saved ... but it never lasted. It wore off after a day or two. That's what just happened to Bush. The convention was a secular revival meeting, and Zell Miller, I suppose, almost made it into a literal one. While it was in progress, poll respondents got the spirit. But the tents are folded up and the spirit is gone. And it's not coming back.