Thursday, September 16, 2004

Screw the bounce!

Reading this diary entry over at the DailyKOS, I was struck by a thought (ow!).

The recent "bounce" in Bush's poll numbers had nothing to do with him winning over more of the "undecideds" or the "persuadables". If anything, his standing with that group was hurt by the Convention (perhaps all that Zellfire and Brimstone turned them off). Yet Bush did get a bounce (the only real dispute is over its size). So where did it come from?

In my estimation it came from two things: (1) a re-energized Republican base who were jazzed up on said Zellfire and (2) a slightly de-moralized Democratic base who, coming down off the highs of the primaries and the pre-DNC general campaign, were dejected by the whole Swift-Boat affair (both its broadcast and the slow response to it from the Kerry campaign).

In other words, Bush's "bounce" was all about the bases and how energized they were after August. The Democrats have been running on an adrenaline high since the end of last year (first pumped by Dean, then by Kerry). That high carried them for several months, but it crashed the first time Kerry appeared to stumble.

Fortunately, Bush's natural gravitational pull towards low poll numbers has already eliminated the bounce. Perhaps the Republicans are coming down from their adrenaline high (proving, once again, that Democrats have more stamina)? If so then it is up to Democrats to re-capture that drive that carried us through much of this year.

Bush winning would be a bad thing. But it would be even worse if he does so because of a failure of Democratic enthusiasm.

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