Scarborough gave distorted post-DNC poll analysis; claimed convention Dems not "very excited" about Kerry


On the August 4 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL) followed other conservatives in citing only the Gallup poll -- the only poll to show President George W. Bush leading Senator John Kerry -- to claim that Kerry received a "negative bump" following the Democratic National Convention. He also misrepresented support for Kerry among conventioneers.

"The USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found that John Kerry lost two percentage points among likely voters, while George Bush actually gained five points," Scarborough reported, to support his assertion that Kerry got a post-convention "negative bump." The USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll (July 30 - August 1) showed Bush gaining ground on Kerry (a four-point bounce, not five as Scarborough reported; the margin of error was three points). Yet as Media Matters for America has previously noted, other post-convention polls showed Kerry achieving a small post-convention bounce.

In addition to those polls MMFA originally cited, two more polls have been released since. The FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll (August 3 - August 4) showed Kerry earning a five-point bounce among registered voters (pre-convention, Kerry trailed Bush by one point; he is now up by four) and a three-point bump among likely voters (within the three-point margin of error). In the Marist College poll (July 30 - August 2), Kerry remained one point ahead of Bush among registered voters; Bush gained one point to tie with Kerry among likely voters. No poll, aside from the Gallup poll, shows Bush leading Kerry.

Scarborough also attempted to downplay support for Kerry among convention attendees: "When I was up in Boston [at the Democratic National Convention], I spoke with close to 1,000 people. ... I never found one person that told me that they were excited about voting for John Kerry. I found all of the people I spoke to were very excited about getting rid of George W. Bush, almost at a fevered pitch."

However, a New York Times/CBS News poll of delegates to the 2004 Democratic National Convention (conducted June 16 through July 17) indicated that 88 percent of delegates enthusiastically supported Kerry; 6 percent supported Kerry but had reservations about him; and just 4 percent only supported Kerry because he was the likely party nominee.

Polling, 2004 Elections
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