David Brooks: ‘Unknown’ Romney has post-convention bounce potential

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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After political party conventions, candidates of each party traditionally get some sort of post-convention bounce in support. And with the Republican National Convention in Tampa this coming week, it’s expected that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will see that bounce.

On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks anticipated Romney could walk away from the convention up as much as five points in the polls.

“I guess you would say the polls have evened up a little,” Brooks said. “And so, if you took the average of all the big recent polls, maybe Romney is down a point. And so that’s pretty good for Romney considering all the stuff that has happened especially. And so, we go into the conventions and look for bounces. And the average bounce is about four or five points. And so the record bounce was Bill Clinton’s first bounce, but that happened when Ross Perot pulled out. John Kerry got a very small bounce, but in general you get five.”

Brooks explained why the GOP candidate stands to gain a lot of ground with the convention, explaining that Romney is still unknown to much of the electorate.

“And so I’m very curious to know if he gets that five,” Brooks said. “And there are two counter trends here. The first is the electorate has been so rigid the entire race, maybe there is just no bounce, because everybody is all sort of locked in. On the other hand, I genuinely think that Romney is unknown, really, really unknown, considering the fact that he has been running for president since the 19th century or something like that. And so if he makes himself known — and I’m not sure he can do that, but if he does, he has the potential to get a bounce, as people say, oh, he’s not so bad.”

Romney trails President Obama in favorability, but according to Brooks, based on his personal interactions, there isn’t much separating the two.

“I look at the favorability,” he said. “It’s a big issue. But here is my personal opinion. I look at the favorability. Obama has a 23 percentage point advantage on, do you like the guy? Now, I have interviewed both of these people a lot. Maybe Obama is more likable. He’s not that much more likable. Romney is a pretty decent guy. So, I think there is some upside there. That’s my personal opinion.”

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