Obama Now Up By Five Among Likely Voters, Convention Bounce Or No

by evanmcmurry

Though the headline says Obama’s lead “narrows,” he still is ahead in Monday’s Reuters/Ipsos poll by five among likely voters, the group most likely to tend rightward.* Keep in mind, the two candidates were statistically tied at the beginning of the conventions. As we’re almost two full weeks past the convention, there’s good reason to think this is no longer a long convention bounce we’re seeing, but a reflection of Romney’s stumbles: the public did not view his response to the Libya attacks favorably at all. And this is all before the Politico story on Romney’s shambling campaign or the revelation of a video showing Romney disparaging half the country as moochers, the former of which likely won’t matter to voters, but the latter of which could be devastating.

All of this means Obama’s five point lead is not likely to fade in the next week, at least. This has historical precedence, as Ezra Kelin explains:

The least-stable period of the campaign isn’t early in the year or in the fall. It’s the summer. That’s because the conventions have a real and lasting effect on a campaign.

“The party that gains pre- to post-convention on average improves by 5.2 percentage points as measured from our pre- and post-convention benchmarks,” write Erikson and Wlezien. “On average, the party that gains from before to after the conventions maintains its gain in the final week’s polls. In other words, its poll numbers do not fade but instead stay constant post-conventions to the final week.”

In other words, Obama’s five point lead is dead on, statistically, and likely to be permanent.

Also noteworthy: Obama is now leading Romney on who would do a better job on the economy, one of the only areas on which Romney has been beating the president, and the logic for his entire campaign.

* In contradistinction to registered voters, or the public in general.