The Corner

Divining The Bounce

Jim Lindgren writes at the Volokh Conspiracy:

Many pundits on the right are underestimating the ease with which Barack Obama has it within his power to get a 3-8% bump in support in the polls.

Remember, Obama got enormous mileage in his 2004 convention speech from some modest statements about African-American personal responsibility. If Barack –- or for that matter, Michelle — Obama decides to make a MUCH bigger deal about this topic (after all, it’s already part of Barack’s repertoire), he could get a BIG bump in the polls this week.

In a sense, it’s sad that such a tack might be necessary for Barack Obama to get a big bump, but there it is.

Me: Maybe. And he might even do that. But I think the better argument for an Obama bump is simply closing the deal with Hillary voters. I think Stephanopolous made a similar point on “This Week.” If Obama merely gets self-identified Hillary voters to say they’ll vote for the Democratic nominee – that shouldn’t be too hard, right? – he’ll get something like a double-digit bump. Obama’s only polling around just shy of 80% support among Dems and 70% among Hillary supporters. Push those numbers up to where they should be,  and voila – there’s Obama’s bounce. Maybe he can do that, and reprise the Bill Cosby refrain, and that would really add some boing to his bounce. But I don’t think talking up black responsibility is necessarily what that uncommitted Democratic crowd wants to hear. What they do want to hear, I have no idea. And, I’m beginning to suspect, the Obama campaign doesn’t either.

Now, if there is no significant bounce,  the tide of flop sweat will out pace the rising of the oceans, and not even Obama will be able to reverse that

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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