A poll by Morning Consult finds President Trump in better shape after the GOP Convention than before it. According to this poll, Trump now trails Biden by 50-44 among likely voters. Before the Convention, he trailed 52-42.
This “bounce” seems to be a function of respondents viewing Biden less favorably than before, rather than viewing Trump more favorably. Morning Consult found that Biden’s favorability numbers have weakened while the president’s have remained steady.
That’s not surprising. Speakers at the GOP Convention savaged Biden. Indeed, the most effective part of Trump’s acceptance speech was his attack on the former vice president, in my opinion.
Speakers also lauded the president, of course. But voters pretty much know what they think of him, I imagine. Speeches aren’t likely to move that needle. Only an improvement in the nation’s outlook, especially as regards the Wuhan coronavirus, is likely to have that effect.
I did find one mild surprise in the Morning Consult numbers.
Trump left the convention with a slightly worse standing among voters of color, trailing Biden by 28 points among Hispanic voters (33 percent to 61 percent) and 74 points among Black voters (9 percent to 83 percent).
This, despite relentless pitching to Blacks.
The optimist in me says that most of the Black voters who expressed no preference to pollsters (8 percent of them) are closet Trump supporters. If just half of them are, then Trump would be at 13 percent with this group of voters (assuming the other 92 percent are being honest with the pollsters). That’s probably about 5 points lower than the campaign hopes for, but about 5 points higher than in 2016.
The Morning Consult survey is just one poll. We shouldn’t read too much into it.
However, Allahpundit calls attention to a YouGov poll (for Yahoo News) that also suggests a GOP bounce. It too finds that the Biden lead is down to 6 points — 47 to 41. At the end of July, YouGov had Biden up by 9 points.
The convention appears to have boosted perceptions of Trump’s “strength” and convinced a small number of former Biden supporters to move toward the president. But the unrest in Kenosha, Wis., following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a major talking point at the RNC, has not had a clear impact on voters’ choices — at least not yet.
A 3 to 4 point convention bounce wouldn’t be bad by contemporary standards, especially given that the GOP Convention wasn’t a ratings smash.
If the two polls cited above accurately reflect the current state of public opinion, the Trump campaign still has plenty of work to do. However, it also has a message that seems to move voters.
In my view, though, the key to the election is probably the course the pandemic takes in the U.S. during the next six weeks (or so).