By Sam Youngman
The Hill – Leading the News
Barack Obama may get a 15 percent bump in the polls from the announcement of his vice presidential pick and next week’s Democratic convention, according to a memo from John McCain’s campaign.
The memo from campaign strategy director Sarah Simmons attempted to set expectations for the Democratic senator from Illinois, who has failed to break 50 percent in most polls since clinching the delegates necessary to win his party’s nomination. She also blamed what she predicted will be worshipful media coverage of Obama.
Simmons’s memo said that the media coverage surrounding Obama’s acceptance speech will be so “effusive,” the campaign thinks Obama will see a polling bump comparable to former President Bill Clinton’s 16-point bump following his convention in 1992.
“Obama’s stadium address on Thursday — the 45th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech — will result in effusive and overwhelming press coverage,” Simmons wrote in the Friday memo. “On Thursday, Obama will give a great speech, as has been his trademark. The press will sing his praises and remark on his historic address and Obama’s place in history.”
Simmons also said the McCain campaign anticipates that Obama will be able to use the convention to make strides in winning over disaffected supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), and that will add to his bump.
She also said Obama’s decision to delay announcing his choice of running mate until close to the convention could give him a bump. Such announcements usually result in a five-point bump that “dissipates” quickly, but Simmons said it could endure because of the nonstop media coverage that will follow from the announcement to Obama’s acceptance speech.
Simmons also acknowledged in the memo that the Democratic convention is a historic event, noting that “Democrats have just completed an incredibly compelling primary cycle that has both energized and divided the Democratic Party.”
“We believe Obama will see a significant bump, and believe it is reasonable to expect nearly a 15-point bounce out of a convention in this political environment,” Simmons wrote.