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Rebounding into the Poll Position

Although the Sarah Palin selection has invigorated the news media covering the race for the presidency, the post-GOP convention bounce in the polls was average for major party confabs since 1964.

The Republicans gained 6 percentage points in the polls based on the Gallup number the Sunday before the convention and the Sunday after, according to the American Presidency Project (

(Careful readers may recall we said the Democrats had the same percentage bounce of 6 points. That number has since been revised downward to 4 percent. While that stomps on John Kerry's one percentage point drop in 2004, it's still below average.)

Looking just at GOP bounces since 1964, the McCain-Palin spike is a percentage point above average. But more importantly in a close race, the GOP's gain has put their ticket ahead overall, although non-Gallup surveys put the already close race at a tie.

And here's a worthless statistic worthy of NFL commentary: Since 1964, GOP tickets with a 6-percent or greater bounce has always won, while among Democrats four bounces greater than 6 points (1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000) have ended with a loss in November.

That said, here at we take our polls with a grain of salt, something encouraged by our contributor and veteran Chicago pol Don Rose.