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August 22, 2008

McCain Camp "Predicts" Huge Obama Convention Bounce Nearly Equal to Clinton's 16 Point "Superbounce" in 1992

Um, it's elevating expectations, of course; the argument that Obama is similarly situated to Clinton and will get a 15 point Superbounce doesn't really persuade me, exactly. (But see below for the memo and draw your own conclusions.)

Here's the thing: the McCain argument is not bad, but it fails (deliberately) to take into account that Obama is constantly overhyped as the New Abraham Lincoln and New JFK by the Liberal Media Spirit Squad. This produces outsized expectations, of course, and when the public actually sees this buffoon in action, they wonder what the hell the hype is all about.

Obama has a long and growing history of "crucial, game-changing" speeches and debates in which he basically comes off as inspirational as the feces-tube in a shrimp's back.

So the McCain camp's spin isn't all spin. Certainly Obama has the potential to deliver a game-changing speech and reassure the American public he's, secondly, more qualified for the job than McCain and, firstly, qualified for the job at all.

If he does that, then yes, he "seals the deal" with the American people (as one ecstatic network announcer said after Clinton's 1992 speech), dispels most doubt, unifies the Democrats, persuades 60% of independents, and enjoys a huge 15 point surge -- not bounce -- which he basically holds until the November elections.

But that's a really big if. He's had any number of these "seal the deal/dispel the doubt" opportunities in the past and he's whiffed them, or at best caught the edge off the bat for a bloop single.

McCain's camp is talking about one side of that big If chasm. It's perfectly possible The Messiah will suddenly reveal his divine glow for all to see. (Honestly, it is -- hell, even JD Drew occasionally hits a home run.)

On the other side of that If chasm, though, is... well, anything from no bounce at all to a net loss as even more Americans are exposed to "Obama Magic" and, once again, make the racist determination that The One has no Halo.

As usual, I have no frickin' idea what will happen. One can't just split the difference and say "8 point bounce" -- because it seems to me the split-the-difference moderate outcome is the least likely of all. Much more likely are the "extreme" outcomes (extreme in quotes, because they're not really that extreme in terms of probability). Either Obama tanks it (again) or merely manages to read the teleprompter without drooling all over himself, or he finally becomes The Man Prophecied By the MSM Oracles and wows the country and walks to the Presidency without breaking a sweat.

Usually candidates like being heard by the public "unfiltered," without the spin and interference of the media. In Obama's case -- "unfiltered" is usually bad for him. The MSM doesn't interfere with his message; they run interference for him.

This will be the biggest stage Obama's ever stood upon, and almost every likely voter will be watching. This time, almost everyone will see precisely who this Lamb of Chicago really is, and whether or not he's Amazing Orator they've been told to death he is.

The MSM will of course try to rescue him with excuses and ridiculous proclamations of "thrills down the leg" after his speech. But that will be of little use -- everyone will have seen him in action, and can judge for themselves.

Dangerous for Obama.

But who knows.

I figure it:

20% tanks -- zero or negative bounce

40% very meh but not damaging -- modest 2-5 point bounce

30% hits a home run -- 10-12 point bounce

10% somewhere in the middle, 6-9 points

Anyway, here's the memo.


Monday marks the beginning of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A combination of factors makes this particular convention historic on many levels. Democrats have just completed an incredibly compelling primary cycle that has both energized and divided the Democratic Party. Because of the unique nature of the Democratic primary, we believe Obama will receive a significant bump from his convention.

This cycle mirrors Bill Clinton’s Democratic convention in 1992: A historic 16-point bump. Barack Obama is more similarly situated to Bill Clinton in 1992 than any other candidate in recent history. Bill Clinton was a new candidate on the national scene; he was running in a “change” oriented election cycle and the economy was voters’ top issue -- a dynamic he was able to capitalize on. He received a 16-point bump coming out of his convention. Obama is also a “new” candidate in a change-oriented environment. And, like Bill Clinton, he will spend the convention presenting himself as the agent of change who will fix the economy.

Obama will ride his VP bump. In addition to Obama taking advantage of the political environment, he will announce his Vice Presidential candidate late this week. This announcement typically gives a candidate a 5-point temporary bump that dissipates. However, Obama’s timing allows him to maximize his Vice Presidential bump and sustain press attention for the course of the week. He will ride the wave of an announcement from late this week (announcement expected by Saturday) through his speech on Thursday. This means that whatever bump he gains from the announcement has the potential to be lasting.

Obama will correct his underperformance with Hillary Clinton’s primary voters and emerge with a much more cohesive base. This convention gives Obama a platform to unite his base. There continues to be a divide in the Democratic base: Between 10-15% of Democrats are voting for McCain or sitting on the fence. In target states, that number is even higher, between 15-20% in many surveys. The Obama campaign knows that winning or losing in states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania depends on Obama’s ability to bring these voters home. If his convention successfully showcases Hillary Clinton and heals the wounds from the primary, he will move large groups of voters in those key places.

Obama’s stadium address on Thursday -- the 45th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech -- will result in effusive and overwhelming press coverage. On Thursday, Obama will give a great speech, as has been his trademark. The press will sing his praises and remark on his historic address and Obama’s place in history. For example, The Associated Press today published an article comparing the historic nature of the addresses – a week before Obama’s speech. This coverage will be impenetrable and will undoubtedly impact the polls.

We believe Obama will see a significant bump, and believe it is reasonable to expect nearly a 15-point bounce out of a convention in this political environment.

Because Obama's such a dink, I'll personally set the bar at a 40 point bounce, and state that anything less than that proves that Obama is unfit to lead and a bit of douchebag to boot.

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posted by Ace at 05:23 PM

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