Former Vice President Joe Biden got no bounce out of the Democratic National Convention last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday morning.
Biden’s slim lead over Trump in their national poll of registered voters was virtually unchanged.
This should be a huge concern for Joe Biden. In the past couple of weeks, polls have tightened and Biden’s previous edge in polling has been reduced significantly—even after his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Past elections have typically shown political conventions to provide a small bounce in support. Hillary Clinton got a 4-point bounce after her convention in 2016, and Trump also got a 4-point bounce after his.
Why didn’t Biden get a bounce? One reason could be that Biden’s support may have hit a ceiling. While Kamala Harris increased enthusiasm for Biden, her selection as his running mate did not increase support. In fact, a CNN poll released days after her selection showed the race had tightened nationally.
The next reason could be that the Democratic convention was not well done. Many felt it had an infomercial-like feel and it’s impossible to deny its overly negative tone—which may not have been effective at convincing undecided or persuadable voters to back Biden. If that’s the case, there is the potential that the GOP convention, which has been far more positive, could have a greater impact on those voters and give Trump a bounce.
One incident that could be indicative of the convention backfiring on the Biden campaign is a man who called in to C-SPAN after the first night of the convention. He self-identified as a lifelong Democrat who has decided to change his vote to Republican after the way the DNC pushed God out of their convention.
Lifelong Democrat tells C-SPAN: “after watching the convention tonight…I am definitely changing my vote to Republican” pic.twitter.com/zGAqVAnM6q
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 25, 2020
This man was not alone either.
There is an immigrant Democrat on CSPAN right now who just said she is voting for President Trump.
She says the Democrats have went too far left.
THIS IS INCREDIBLE.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) August 26, 2020
A woman from Pennsylvania who says she "comes from a long line of Democrats" calls into C-SPAN just now: "Well, I didn't vote for Trump" in 2016, she says, "but I am now."
— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) August 26, 2020
If the Democratic convention failed to give a bounce to Biden, the RNC could still potentially provide Trump with a bounce.
The best possible explanation for the Biden campaign is that the virtual format made the possibility of a bounce virtually nonexistent and the GOP convention will perform similarly for Trump. If Trump doesn’t get a bounce, the Biden campaign can breathe a sigh of relief. But a small bounce, even a temporary one, spells trouble for the Biden campaign as it would suggest his level of support has a ceiling, and Trump’s support is at the floor.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd says that Joe Biden’s campaign is “concerned” that Trump could overperform with black voters in November because of his focus on criminal-justice reform.
Joe Biden has built his campaign on the shoulders of Barack Obama, betting his primary campaign on support from black voters. Yet, black voters could be his doom in November if Trump manages to siphon off enough support.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis