No GOP Convention Bounce in Polls for Mitt Romney, Yet

GOP banking on a post-convention rise in the polls. Analysts say it may still be on the way.

By SHARE
FE_DA_120830RomneyRNC.jpg
Mitt Romney delivers his nomination acceptance speech during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has yet to see much of a polling bounce following the GOP convention in Tampa last week, but some experts say it may emerge in the coming weeks.

The latest Gallup daily tracking poll shows President Barack Obama leading Romney by one point, 47 percent to 46 percent. Prior to the Republican convention, the two men were tied.

The convention, a chance for Republicans to highlight the ideas and campaign themes of their choosing while showcasing the party's top political stars, ended last Thursday. And the Romney campaign certainly was banking on a late-summer boost from the event.

[Read: Top 5 takeaways from the Republican National Convention.]

"From the convention, we expect a renewed enthusiasm among supporters and important constituencies, new opportunities to draw support from target communities, [and] upward movement in the polls," according to a briefing book distributed by the Romney campaign ahead of the convention.

Rasmussen polling shows Romney leading Obama 47 percent to 45 percent, an obvious improvement for Romney since earlier in August, when the same pollster showed Obama leading by about five points.

Meanwhile, a new poll from Florida, a key swing state, also revealed no significant improvement for the Republican despite playing host to the convention.

Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 47 percent in the Sunshine State, according to Public Policy Polling, the same results as those of a similar poll conducted more than a month ago.

[Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.]

"The Republican convention being held in Tampa appears to have been a wash," wrote Tom Jensen, polling director of PPP in a memo accompanying the results. "Thirty-three percent of voters say it made them more likely to vote for Republicans, 33 percent said it made them less likely to vote for Republicans, and 34 percent said it didn't make a difference to them either way."

Analysts for the University of Virginia Center for Politics say it may take some time to see what kind of impact the convention will have on polling.

"Convention bounces can take a few days to register," wrote UVA's Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley in a memo. "According to the RealClearPolitics average, John McCain didn't reach his peak convention bounce until four days after his convention; the Arizonan rose all the way to 48.3 percent in the national polls, three points ahead of Obama. It proved to be his high water mark."

[Read: Ron Paul supporters cause second disturbance at the RNC.]

Prior to the convention, the RealClearPolitics polling average had Obama with 47 percent support and Romney with 46 percent. Now it shows a tie, with the candidates locked at 46 percent each.

"We suspect Romney will at least match and probably exceed the lead McCain grabbed, but Obama has an immediate chance [at the Democratic convention] to cut into any new advantage Romney might build," the UVA analysts wrote. "If Romney does take a national polling lead on Obama, it will be his first lead since last October, again according to RealClearPolitics."

The political scientists note that despite the fact that in 2008 and this year the two parties' conventions were scheduled back-to-back, it's actually quite a rare occurrence.

"Only three times before (1912, 1916, and 1956) were the two major party conventions held so close together," they wrote.

Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at rmetzler@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter.

  • See the latest political cartoons
  • Visit the U.S. News Election 2012 website for breaking coverage
  • Follow U.S. News Debate Club on Twitter