Sunday, August 1, 2004

A Solid Bounce in an Evolving Press.

I read a Reuters story, released at 12:05PM today that reported, “He was seeking to capitalize on momentum generated by last week's Democratic convention, as a new Newsweek poll showed he won a solid, four-point bounce from the gathering.” (emphasis added). Use of the adjective “solid” struck me as odd because it seemed anything but solid to me.

So I did some research and learned that the average bounce, both conventions since 1964 is 6 points (Clinton’s 1992 bounce of 16 points is the record. Well, the average of 6 points is a good fact. Achieving two-thirds of that seemed less than “solid,” so I went back to Reuters to begin a post.

Only, the word “solid” was gone. In its place was a revised story released at 1:19PM: “He was seeking to capitalize on momentum generated by last week's Democratic convention as a new CNN-USA Today Gallup poll showed he had gained only 1 percentage point over Bush.” In fact, the new poll, when viewed for likely voters, gives W a 50% - 47% lead.

While Reuters was wise enough to drop the descriptor “solid,” it continued to be biased enough to term it “momentum.” And from a transcript of the CNN discussion thinks the momentum is W’s: Bill Schneider: “… what we're see showing is before the convention the democrats were hugely enthusiastic about voting. over three-quarters said they were more enthusiastic than usual. after the convention the number of democrats who said they were enthusiastic went up only slightly. they already had their bounce but what really changed is that the republicans, the bush voters went way up in enthusiasm gaining eight points so it looks like, yes, the convention rallied voters but it rallied republicans more than democrats. …” (my emphasis added; their grammatical errors preserved).

Between Reuters and CNN, I’m not sure who has the better sense of humor.

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