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It's certainly way too early to gauge the impact of Paul Ryan's banquet of bullshit vice-presidential acceptance speech, given that few pollsters would be in the field that late in the evening except in the far West.

But we can at least get somewhat of a feel for how the Tuesday evening roster of speakers played with the electorate. And, the early reviews appear to suggest a very muted reaction. One tracking poll moved a single point in the direction of the GOP, another didn't move at all.

Only the all-internet Ipsos/Reuters poll seems to be suggesting a "convention bounce" of any substance, having shifted from a two-point Obama lead on Tuesday morning to a Romney lead of the same margin. Even that, however, is a somewhat modest shift in voter preferences.

Of course, the real red meat of the convention has yet to be tested, so it is far, far too early for Republicans to despair or Democrats to gloat. As I noted yesterday, the best sense of the impact of the convention may wait until as late as Labor Day or Tuesday.

On to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-46)

NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters Tracking): Romney d. Obama (44-42)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama tied with Romney (45-45)

MICHIGAN (EPIC-MRA): Obama d. Romney (49-46)

MISSOURI (PPP): Romney d. Obama (53-41)

OHIO (Gravis Marketing): Obama d. Romney (45-44)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
CA-03 (GBA Strategies for the House Majority PAC--D): Rep. John Garamendi (D) 54, Kim Vann (R) 39

FL-18 (Grove Insight for the DCCC): Patrick Murphy (D) 47, Rep. Allan West (R) 46

FL-26 (Benenson Strategies for the Garcia campaign): Joe Garcia (D) 49, Rep. David Rivera (R) 40

MI-03 (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Pestka campaign): Rep. Justin Amash (R) 50, Steve Pestka (D) 42

MO-SEN (PPP): Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 45, Todd Akin (R) 44

NY-01 (Global Strategy Group for the Bishop campaign): Rep. Tim Bishop (D) 53, Randy Altschuler (R) 39

OH-SEN (Gravis Marketing--R): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 44, Josh Mandel (R) 41

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...

With two days in the books in Tampa (and the third underway), folks might think we can already get a halfway decent gauge on the impact of the convention. However, in all actuality, we are probably about three to four days away from having a real snapshot of how the GOP convention shifted, or failed to shift, candidate perceptions.

The calling window for pollsters is typically within those polite calling hours, which means that today's samples reflects virtually no respondents who saw Paul Ryan's speech last night. That is because the GOP headliners go on after 10 PM ET, and even after 8 PM in the Mountain time zone. Ergo, the only Wednesday convention viewers that would make it into a Wednesday polling sample would be a handful of calls to those in Pacific time.

Therefore, today's polls, which show little movement aside from the Ipsos/Reuters poll, reflect, in all probability, only about 40 percent of respondents that have seen the GOP convention in any depth.

That said, a third or more of the respondent pool have seen some of the convention, and the net movement has been 0.7 percent. By any measurement, that's not much to write home about, yet.

In other polling news...

  • On the recurring theme of the week (the post-convention "bounce"), there were two intriguing reads published earlier on Thursday that are worth perusing. One, from Mark Barabak of the Los Angeles Times, skewers the notion that convention bounces are important in the scheme of a presidential election outcome. The other, the semi-regular Insiders Poll by National Journal, surveys its pool of campaign honchos and operatives to try to gauge what the bounce will be, and what would constitute a successful convention for the GOP.
  • A quintet of House internal polls out today, all on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes, paint a broad and pleasing portrait of the state of play for the blue team. Two of the polls demonstrated that Democratic incumbents (veteran Tim Bishop and second-termer John Garamendi) are in excellent shape in districts that were viewed as potentially imperiled. This now makes multiple Democratic internals out of the California 3rd, incidentally, with nary a poll in response from the GOP.

    A pair of polls, both out of Florida, shows a GOP incumbent trailing, by varying margins, in a race that pundits still consider a "leans Republican" race. The fifth poll, out of Michigan, points out the potential competitiveness of a race that virtually everyone in the election forecasting community had relegated to a second or third-tier pickup chance for the Democrats. Across the board, good news for the Democrats, especially if said polls are not rebutted with GOP internals that are more amenable to the Republicans.

  • PPP returned to the Show-Me Stae for the second week in a row, and they still see a legitimate toss-up in the state's now closely-watched Senate campaign. Unlike last week, they put incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the "lead", albeit by the same single point margin that challenger Todd Akin enjoyed last week. They also show, for the second week in a row, a widening lead for Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket. The sample might be slightly friendly to the GOP, but not dramatically so. One really has to wonder if Todd Akin's insistence on staying in the race is based on the semi-legitimate argument that he could weather the controversy and return the race to a referendum on an unpopular incumbent. Even the less optimistic polls for him, don't forget, have been McCaskill leads only in the high single-digits. Of course, Akin is also an excellent bet to crap the bed again between now and November. There may not be a more interesting race in the United States.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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