This year, I’d be betting on something different to happen. While it’s conceivable the conventions could produce a game changing moment, there are three reasons why I’m skeptical they will.
Right now, former Vice President Joe Biden is up by closer to 8 to 10 points in the national polls. Even if you assume that President Donald Trump gets the average bounce since 2004 and Biden gets no bounce, Trump won’t be close to the lead. The President needs something very different than usual to come out ahead after the conventions.
If the last few months are any guide, we’re probably looking at an average convention bounce of less than 3 points in 2020.
The less coverage there is of the conventions, the less chance voters are going to have to discover something new about the candidates.
Of course, we can’t take anything to the bank this year. Maybe more people will watch the conventions than normal because they’re stuck inside because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, the cumulative evidence suggests that a big convention bounce will be hard to come by this year.