Latest from Bush pollster Matthew Dowd:
As the post-primary season winds down and Kerry’s VP selection and convention approach, I wanted to share with you what we should expect polls to show in early August.
An examination of Gallup polls in presidential elections since 1976 reveals that a challenger’s vice presidential selection and nominating convention can have a dramatic (if often short-lived) effect on the head-to-head poll numbers. In fact, historical analysis suggests John Kerry should have a lead of more than 15 points coming out of his convention…
1. An average of the most recent public polls shows the race is a dead heat.
2. Assuming that Kerry enjoys the average challenger’s bounce (15.4% since 1976), we should expect the state of the race to swing wildly to his favor by early August.
Democrats themselves expect Kerry to have a sizeable lead after his convention. On Face the Nation on Sunday, DNC head Terry McAuliffe said, `We are about to pick our vice presidential nominee. We’re about to go into a convention of four days and I think once we finish up our convention, I think you’re going to see Senator Kerry anywhere from eight to twelve points up.’”