What the Numbers Say: The latest CBS News/YouGov poll shows Biden with a commanding lead over current US President Donald Trump, leading with a 52% to 42% margin among likely voters. This is the same lead that Biden enjoyed prior to the start of the convention. While this does not indicate a traditional post-convention bump, most political analysts did not expect this type of virtual convention in the COVID-19 era to have as much of an impact as the big gatherings have had in the past.
The good news is that the convention likely served to solidify the Democratic base and rally the likely voters around Biden heading into the last two months of the election season.
Why a Smaller Bounce? The reason that political analysts are not expecting major poll bounces out of this convention can be attributed to a few factors. First of all, the fact that the conventions have had to abandon the traditional pep rally format in favor of virtual gatherings has significantly subdued the enthusiasm surrounding the event. While the Democrats were praised on both sides of the aisle for finding a way to make the limited format work, it is nearly impossible to replicate the enthusiasm of an in-person gathering.
The other reason why experts did not predict a large polling bump is largely attributed to the simple fact that most voters are already familiar with both candidates. This familiarity translates into mostly steady polling. In other words, a successful convention is not likely to sway voters in one direction because most have already made up their minds.
Favorability on Biden’s Side: What is most promising for Biden is his current favorability ratings. Heading into last week’s convention, Biden sat around -3 points when measuring net favorability. A new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that his rating increased 8 points to now sit at +5 points among all adults. If this favorability rating can hold throughout the next few months, he is in good shape to be declared the winner of the November 3 election. Since 1980, the winning candidate has averaged a net favorability rating of +6.
This new polling hints that Biden is picking up enthusiasm within his own party. If he is able to lock in the support of Democratic voters, it will be more difficult for Trump to overcome the lead. It is also important for Biden to sway those voters who are not enamored with either candidate. Trump was able to pull out the win in 2016 in large part because he received the majority of the votes from individuals who said that they did not like either candidate.
What is Next for Biden: Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, will try to stay out of the spotlight this week as the Republican National Convention takes center stage. However, the pair did appear in their first televised joint interview when they sat down with ABC’s David Muir for a Sunday primetime telecast. The campaign is also debuting a new television ad on Monday, taking aim on Trump’s decision to call on Americans to boycott Goodyear tires.
Painting a Clearer Picture: Admittedly, it is difficult to measure the success of Biden at the Democratic National Convention without waiting to see how the upcoming Republican National Convention plays out. This event is scheduled to kick off on Monday with the final speech by Trump slated for Thursday. The best measure of comparative success of each convention will be to examine the polling numbers after the Republican event has concluded. Should Trump see a bigger bump in favorability compared to Biden’s bump, the Democrats may start to feel a bit uneasy about their comfortable lead for now.