President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney essentially are locked in a dead heat, but Romney can expect a 3 point to 4 point bump in the polls following his “solid” acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, Democratic pollster and author Doug Schoen predicted in an interview with Newsmax.TV.
“If I had to bet, he’d get a 3- to 4-point bump,” Schoen said in an exclusive interview Friday as the first overnight polls already began to trend upward following Romney’s acceptance speech at the close of the Republican National Convention.
A Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll released Thursday showed Romney up by 2 percentage points, 44 percent to 42 percent, while Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday had Romney up by 1 point.
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But Schoen — a Newsmax contributor and author of "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond" — said convention bounces generally have a limited shelf life.
“The bump I expect will be reversed when the Democrats convene next week in Charlotte,” predicted Schoen, who is a regular on Fox News.
“The race was tied when the Republican convention was started and I expect it will be tied when the Democratic convention ends next week.”
While Romney appeared emotive, at times funny, and even irreverent in his acceptance speech, Schoen said that he is not yet convinced the former governor is now everything he was not prior to the start of the convention.
“I wouldn’t go that far, but he took a giant step forward in the right direction,” said Schoen. “He humanized himself. He reached out to women. He made it clear he was on the side of American exceptionalism and he took what I think was a huge step towards reintroducing himself to the American people.”
Compared to those of other presidential nominees, Romney’s acceptance speech probably will be rated “solid,” according to Schoen.
“He did not close the deal (Thursday) night. Let’s be very clear,” he emphasized. “There will be three debates. My prediction: This will be a great close election after the Democratic convention next week in Charlotte.”
Schoen said Romney accomplished his primary objectives. “Gov. Romney did what he needed to do.
"He made it clear to the American people that he’s led a life like many of them,” Schoen insisted. “He made it clear that he has the same kind of hopes, fears, and aspirations they shared, and Gov. Romney succeeded in achieving virtually all he wanted to do last night.”
Some observers have criticized what they described as factual inaccuracies in Paul Ryan’s Wednesday-night acceptance speech, Schoen was impressed with it nevertheless.
“I think for the vast majority, the American people saw a bright young man with ideas — controversial ideas, to be sure — but ideas that again pointed America in a new direction,” he said.
“Since much of the critique of Gov. Romney has been that he has not been offering bold ideas, I think Paul Ryan, at the very least, made it very clear that the Romney/Ryan ticket did stand for something better than just election, with their aggressive advocacy of physical discipline and more particular Medicare and Medicaid reform.”
However, screen legend Clint Eastwood, whose speech Thursday drew mixed reviews, failed to make Schoen’s highlights reel.
“The way I would say it is that long after people forget Clint Eastwood, they will remember Mitt Romney,” said Schoen. “I thought the highlights of the evening where Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio — of course Mitt Romney. While the pundits on cable TV are endlessly debating whether Clint Eastwood or the empty chair did better, I think the star of the night was the former governor of the state of Massachusetts.”
Not to be outdone, Democrats still have a trick or two up their sleeves “and I would watch out,” he warned.
“The answer is William Jefferson Clinton,” insisted Schoen, referring to Clinton’s scheduled introduction of Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
“He is the most popular man in America today," Schoen said, "an extraordinary president, a friend of Newsmax and somebody who has a unique ability to pull a country together that is sadly divided, as Mitt Romney said last night.”
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