So that's why I'm getting some good laughs from Nate Silver, the so-called wonder kid of horse race polling. Poor Nate has been jonesing horribly for even the slightest blip of an Obama-Biden bounce. He squeezed out a "hint" of a bounce in his writing the other day, and last night he went all out with a major commitment in political analysis: "Sept. 8: Conventions May Put Obama in Front-Runner’s Position." Oh my! Talk about iconoclastic political reporting! Step back from the ledge, Nate. Think of the children!!
But the fact is that Obama's a wildly likable incumbent who's had virtually the entire MSM establishment in the tank. Yeah, he's the front-runner alright, doh. The big story is why the Democrat ticket hasn't pulled out a prohibitive lead by now. Lord knows the press is trying. They even went undercover to pick up some Obama swag from the convention in Charlotte: "Too good to check: Media buying Obama swag under fake names at Democratic convention?"
The wonder kid reports that Obama might ultimately pull out a five-point post-convention bounce --- we won't know until later this week, when the tracking poll surveys catch up with sample respondents queried after the convention. I'll give Silver a big shout out later in the week if he's on the money. But in the end, any bounce won't matter much. The race will be neck-and-neck down to the wire of November 6. We have boatloads of political advertising to expect by then, and of course the presidential debates, which could make a big difference. Indeed, Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg have more on that, at the Times, "Five Crucial Factors to Watch, Just 58 Days From the Election" (via Memeorandum):
WASHINGTON — Two months before the election, President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on one thing: the collection of states where the race will be decided.Continue reading.
As Mr. Obama opened a two-day bus tour of Florida on Saturday, Mr. Romney set his sights on trying to put Virginia back in the Republican column. Television advertisements from both sides were filling the airwaves in those two vital states and six others from Nevada to New Hampshire, while outside groups supporting the candidates tested for traction elsewhere.
With the political conventions over, the battle to determine whether Mr. Obama will win re-election or Mr. Romney will become the 45th president of the United States is fully engaged. The race has been deadlocked, according to many measures, and each side was predicting that it would see no lift from its convention. That seems to have been true in Mr. Romney’s case, while Mr. Obama’s aides were hopeful that new polls due out this week would prove them wrong.
But for now, Mr. Obama may hold a slight edge because the race remains essentially tied, which means voter disappointment has not turned into a resounding call for his defeat despite the challenging economic climate.
“Now, our friends at the other convention were more than happy to talk about what was wrong with America but not talking about what they’d do to make it right,” he told supporters on Saturday in Seminole, Fla., only a few miles from the site of the Republican convention.
Mr. Romney, speaking to veterans in Virginia Beach on Saturday, referred to the disappointing jobs report released a day earlier. “This week has not been a lot of good news,” he said. “But I’m here to tell you things are about to get a lot better.”
The five factors: The electoral map, the debates, the ads and messaging, possible third party bids in some states, and campaign finance.
I'm making no bets at this point. I mostly think that Obama could lose and lose badly, but there's so much that can happen between now and election day. And I don't trust the media to get the real story out about who the president really is and how badly his administration has led the country. My gut instinct is that the wisdom of the American people will prevail, and that we'll see a political retrenchment in November in the furtherance of good government and basic political decency. That would mean, obviously, that voters will throw the Democrat bums out on their sorry asses.
So, keep checking back here for all your political reporting and analysis needs.
Hat Tip: Memeorandum.