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Pollsters Predict Small Convention Bounce...

by Blake Cook / July 22, 2004 3:28 PM PDT

WASHINGTON -- Well under way this year is the quadrennial pre-convention guessing game of estimating how public opinion polls will move after each of the weeklong summer rallies hosted by the political parties.

The "convention bounce", a phenomenon pollsters and pundits have been talking about for decades, fulfills the expectation that the presidential candidates will experience a temporary uptick in their popularity polls following the days of free, positive attention during the party conventions.

John Kerry will get a boost after the Democratic Party's convention in Boston next week and President Bush will gain some momentum in the polls after the GOP's pre-Labor Day convention. Both parties will try to play down expectations so as to exceed them.

Still, party officials are hoping that strong performances by their candidates during the four-day conventions will have effects lasting to the November election.

Those hopes may be dashed this year, however. Several pollsters say that Bush and Kerry are unlikely to see significant gains because few undecided voters are out there.



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