As expected, the GOP Convention last week pushed Donald Trump’s poll numbers higher, to give him a lead over Hillary Clinton in the general election. Polls vary from a one point lead to as many as 5 points. Before the convention Hillary lead by an average 4 points in the array of national polls.
But this could be a temporary victory. Traditionally, candidates always get a good poll bounce after their own conventions since these are nationally televised events and are widely viewed. The DNC convention this week will should give Hillary her own poll surge, to establish the new starting point for the general election.
These polling margins, while useful to gauge relative movements are close enough to be within the margin of error. So we expect the candidates to emerge neck and neck.
Over 35 million viewers watched Mr. Trump accept the Republican nomination on Thursday. The other convention days were expeerienced by 19 million or more viewers.
This however fell short of expectations, based on the record setting debate viewership during the primaries. Mitt Romney had about 30 million viewers in 2012, John McCain had 38 million in 2008.
The Democratic Convention is not expected to have as many viewers this year, based on debate interest and results. Perhaps Hillary’s “convention bump” will not return her pre-convention advantage. In 2012, the DNC Convention final night drew about 36 million viewers, in 2008 it drew almost 39 million.