Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fading Bounces

The lead Bob McDonnell showed in our poll today would seem to indicate any bounce Creigh Deeds received from the primary has faded. Using the example of the North Carolina Senate race last year between Kay Hagan and Elizabeth Dole that's to be expected.

A month before the primary last year polls showed Elizabeth Dole leading Kay Hagan by an average of ten points. Five polls conducted in the first couple weeks after the primary, when Hagan's ads were fresh in the voters' minds and she had momentum from her victory, showed her coming within an average of three points of Dole. A trio of polls conducted three to five weeks after the primary though showed Dole back up to an average lead of 11 points. So basically she got a seven point bump immediately after winning the primary and then saw it fade away.

How does Deeds compare? The last two polls taken before his primary victory showed him trailing McDonnell by an average of eight points. Three polls conducted in the week or so after he took the nomination showed him leading by an average of three points for a slightly larger bump than Hagan got of 11 points. Now a month after the primary he's trailing by six, pretty much where he was before.

One thing Dole and McDonnell have in common is that they seemingly got freaked out by their post-primary polling numbers and went on the air in June, much earlier than usual and much earlier than their opponents. While the early summer ad buy certainly helped Dole's poll numbers in July and may have helped McDonnell's in this survey, it didn't create any long term momentum for Dole and she ended up wishing she still had that money in the fall- whether the same thing happens to McDonnell remains to be seen.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think the comment about McDonnell's advertising is a bit off the mark. He began advertising not because of post-primary polling numbers, but in response to advertisements being aired against him by the DGA regarding the stimulus.

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