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Today's Polls: The Bounce Cometh?

Although the topline results don't make it obvious, it appears that John McCain had a fairly strong night of polling in the daily tracking polls, which are the only numbers we have to look at today.

The Gallup tracker now shows Barack Obama leading by 2 points, down from 4 a day ago. When I attempt to estimate the daily results from the topline numbers, however, I get the following:

Wednesday: Obama +7.8
Thursday: Obama +2.4
Friday: McCain +4.2


Wednesday: Obama +4.9
Thursday: Obama +3.8
Friday: Obama +0.3

Once again, I would caution against overinterpreting any of this. Conventions should produce bounces -- they are the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars in free advertising time. What we don't know is how to contextualize these bounces. An average convention bounce is about 6 points, but we don't know how the Democratic and Republican conventions interact with one another, particularly as it affects the timing of the respective bounces. Moreover, Fridays (and Saturdays) are tough nights to poll. My hunch, as I've stated before, is that whatever numbers McCain winds up with over the weekend, Barack Obama will probably be polling a couple of points ahead of those numbers by the end of the upcoming week.

--Nate Silver