Scott Rasmussen estimated on Monday that Bush (then as now confused about whether America can win the war on terror) emerged from the RNC with about a 4-point lead over Kerry (who suffers from no such confusion). If that was right, what went up seems to have come down. Today, in the first three-day average not including the pro-Kerry Saturday results Rasmussen thinks reflected a bad sample, Bush’s lead is only 1.7 points. Since number still includes Sunday, when Bush was up by about 4, the spread between the two candidates for the Monday-Tuesday sample must have been less than a full point. [If (2x + 4) / 3 = 1.7, x = 0.55.]
Gallup had already reported that Bush’s bounce was the smallest ever recorded for an incumbent; now it looks as if it was among the briefest, too.
That doesn’t mean that Kerry didn’t take some damage from the Swifties; as might have been anticipated, the growing evidence of the fraudulence of their charges is getting much less attention from the mainstream press (not to mention, of course, the unmentionable warbloggers) than did the original slanders.
Any bets on how the lastest Bush National Guard material will be handled? It’s well and multiply sourced, with solid documentary evidence. In today’s market, that may reduce its “news value.”