Romney strategist: Obama’s convention poll bounce is a ‘sugar high’

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

Mitt Romney's campaign is downplaying President Barack Obama's jump in the polls after last week's Democratic National Convention and insisting the race has not dramatically changed.

"Don't get worked up about the latest polling," Neil Newhouse, Romney's pollster, wrote in a memo distributed to reporters Monday. "While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly. The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race."

Newhouse's memo comes as a handful of national polls released over the weekend show Obama has pulled slightly ahead of Romney in the aftermath of the DNC. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday found 47 percent of likely voters were backing Obama, compared to 43 percent for Romney. Meanwhile, the Gallup daily tracking poll has Obama with a five-point lead over Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent.

Obama's slight increase comes after months of polls that found the race in a statistical tie and a week after polls found Romney received no bounce coming out of the Republican National Convention. In early August, Romney's campaign suggested he could receive as much as an 11-point boost in the aftermath of the RNC—a prediction Stuart Stevens, a top Romney adviser, later dismissed.

In his latest memo, Newhouse argued that while Obama did see a convention bounce in the polls, it would likely disappear amid disappointing jobs numbers and the "Obama economy," which "will determine the outcome of the race," he argued.

"Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the president has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further," Newhouse wrote.

And he argued that the battleground states that will determine the race have "expanded, not contracted"—and pointed to new states they believe are in play, including Wisconsin, New Mexico and North Carolina.

"Today, there is no question: Americans are not better off than we were four years ago, and that is why President Obama has struggled in this race," Newhouse wrote. "The truth is that some of President Obama's allies are claiming victory, but others are acknowledging the unsustainable position in which they find themselves."