THE ‘BOUNCE’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Soon it will all be about the “bounce.” Or will it?

Larry J. Sa­bato, di­rec­tor of the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia Cen­ter for Pol­i­tics, ex­plains that the “bounce” is the jump in the polls a po­lit­i­cal party ex­pe­ri­ences as a re­sult of its week of “me­dia pro­pa­ganda, broad­cast free on all ma­jor news net­works and in ev­ery news pub­li­ca­tion.”

In other words, the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion last week, fol­lowed by the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion Sept. 1 to 4, when as Mr. Sa­bato puts in the word “bor­ing be­comes a re­li­gion.”

Writ­ing for the cen­ter, Mr. Sa­bato says tra­di­tion­ally once the con­ven­tions have con­cluded, both par­ties “com­pare their bounces, and in­evitably some­one has a case of bounce envy.”

But don’t pay the bounce much at­ten­tion.

“Bounces can fade quickly,” Mr. Sa­bato cau­tions. “His­tor­i­cally, this has been truer on the Demo­cratic side. Jimmy Carter slid from 63 per­cent af­ter his con­ven­tion to 51 per­cent on Elec­tion Day 1976, Michael Dukakis from 54 per­cent to 46 per­cent in 1988; and Bill Clin­ton from 59 per­cent to 43 per­cent in 1992.”

And don’t think Repub­li­cans have the ad­van­tage, ei­ther, for hold­ing their con­ven­tion last.

“It doesn’t make all that much dif­fer­ence which party has the first or sec­ond con­ven­tion,” Mr. Sa­bato says. “Pretty pro­pa­ganda shows can move polls tem­po­rar­ily, but it is the elec­tion fun­da­men­tals that de­ter­mine the gen­eral elec­tion out­come.”

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