Around the middle of the month, those of us who were paying attention noticed that there was no discernable bump in the polls for Joe Biden after selecting Kamala Harris — in fact, he may have lost a point or two. But the lack of movement or minimal movement in the numbers may simply have reflected that because Biden’s lead is so large by historical standards, he just doesn’t have much more room to grow.
The CBS News Battleground tracker poll has Biden . . . ahead by ten points, same as last week, so no discernable convention bump there. The last two Economist/YouGov polls both had Biden ahead by ten points also, so there’s no movement in that survey either.
A few other surveys show small shifts within the margin of error. The latest Hill/HarrisX poll has Biden ahead by eight points. That’s a jump from the previous Hill/HarrisX poll, which had Biden ahead by four points, and the one before that had Biden ahead by three points. The last two Rasmussen polls show a modest slide for Biden, from being ahead by six points to a lead of four points.
Democrats can look at these numbers and feel good, as Biden is ahead, and in fact comfortably ahead in most surveys. But there might be a little frustration in Democratic circles that the Harris pick could get glowing coverage, the convention could run smoothly, Biden could nail his big prime-time speech . . . and Biden’s still hanging around 50 percent, with Trump in the low 40s.
And if you’re a progressive who thinks the Biden campaign has been playing it safe, running on flat and uninspiring themes, and basically boiling the Democratic message down to “we’re the not-Trump party . . .” nothing in these numbers is going to motivate the Biden campaign to get any bolder. It’s probably “three yards and a cloud of dust” from now until November.