No Post-DNC Poll Boost for Biden: What it Means


Joe Biden isn’t enjoying a post-Democratic National Convention vote boost. Despite his pick of Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee, the chances in favor of a Biden victory failed to rise in the betting markets.

On Sunday, the CBS / YouGov battleground tracker revealed that Biden was ahead of Donald Trump by 10 points. That’s seemingly good news for Democrats until you remember that the number remains unchanged after the Harris VP pick and the entire Democratic National Convention.

History shows no post-convention poll boost to be a bad omen

Of course, the DNC was tainted with gaffes and insights into what the contemporary Democratic Party stands for. Still, most analysts had predicted at least a small injection of enthusiasm for the Biden camp. 

In modern Democratic Party history, seeing no boost after a convention has occurred only a few times. It happened in 2004 to John Kerry, and in 1972 to George McGovern.

Kerry ended up losing to George W. Bush, and Nixon cleaned the floor with McGovern in the kind of victory only previously enjoyed by FDR and Ronald Reagan. As for Republicans, Mitt Romney saw no improvement after the 2012 RNC. He lost to the incumbent Barack Obama.

Left-leaning media organizations like ABC News have swiftly tried to spin the bad news for Biden, reflecting instead on his “favorability” rather than his registered voter polling numbers.

Even the Morning Consult pollsters had to admit that while people seemed to like Biden more after the DNC as an individual, he had not gained a poll boost, his numbers remain “unchanged” since the convention started.

Polls tend to give Dems more of a lead than they have

Yet real figures from the registered voters’ CBS / YouGov battleground tracker poll show Biden’s chances to be steady since the beginning of the DNC telethon.

That offers President Trump the opportunity this week to narrow down the “gap” during the Republican Convention. Unlike Biden, the president is scheduled to talk each night. Biden only appeared on the DNC’s first and last nights.

And while political commentators and Democrat insiders would jump on the 10-point gap, it is also worth remembering that CBS had Hillary Clinton leading by 8 points at this time in the 2016 election.

Unlike Biden, after the convention in July 2016, HRC got a poll boost of around two points.

The Kamala Harris pick was also regarded unfavorably by the betting markets:

Biden’s 2020 shares are priced at 60 cents on the political betting website PredictIt, the same rate they were offering before the Harris announcement. At 43 cents, Trump is a distant second, also an unchanged rate.