August 22nd, 2008
08:39 PM ET

McCain memo on Obama's convention bounce

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Editor's note: The following is a memo from the McCain campaign team, published on TIME.com by Mark Halperin.

Sarah Simmons
McCain Campaign Director of Strategy

Monday marks the beginning of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A combination of factors makes this particular convention historic on many levels. Democrats have just completed an incredibly compelling primary cycle that has both energized and divided the Democratic Party. Because of the unique nature of the Democratic primary, we believe Obama will receive a significant bump from his convention.

This cycle mirrors Bill Clinton’s Democratic convention in 1992: A historic 16-point bump. Barack Obama is more similarly situated to Bill Clinton in 1992 than any other candidate in recent history. Bill Clinton was a new candidate on the national scene; he was running in a “change” oriented election cycle and the economy was voters’ top issue — a dynamic he was able to capitalize on. He received a 16-point bump coming out of his convention. Obama is also a “new” candidate in a change-oriented environment. And, like Bill Clinton, he will spend the convention presenting himself as the agent of change who will fix the economy.

Obama will ride his VP bump. In addition to Obama taking advantage of the political environment, he will announce his Vice Presidential candidate late this week. This announcement typically gives a candidate a 5-point temporary bump that dissipates. However, Obama’s timing allows him to maximize his Vice Presidential bump and sustain press attention for the course of the week. He will ride the wave of an announcement from late this week (announcement expected by Saturday) through his speech on Thursday. This means that whatever bump he gains from the announcement has the potential to be lasting.


Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. josh

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter but I will not vote for obama and biden because I don’t want the same old politics to change there is no unity for us I don’t like the war in Iraq but we are there and we need protect the innocent from Iran we need a plan mccain has a real one I just wish the candidates would talk more on the economy and immigration I believe the only fair tax is the one where everyone pays the same% and illegal immigrants are give a chance for a clean slat and a green card if they start paying taxes and local and state governments to not get federal funding while they break the law and harbor illegal activities
    I know its just one voice but I want it to be loud

    August 25, 2008 at 7:24 am |
  2. concern

    bill was good at beging president ..but i don't see any of him in Obama ...Obama i like a lot more than bill ....and he is a lot smarter than bill ....bill got caught ...ha ha ha haha ha

    August 25, 2008 at 1:51 am |
  3. Meduchess

    Why does Obama have to kiss the Clintons butts. I am so sick of the Clintons. People need to get over the fact that HillBill lost. Now who is living the Fairy Tale. Now turn over those delegates and lets move on to the whitehouse. We will make it with or without you. Now get over yourselves. Nothing will be gained by force. Its over now lets get fired up to win win win!

    August 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  4. jim

    There won't be any chance for a bump due to the American people aware of the corrupt and racistst candidate Barack Hussein Obams is. The "typical white person" remark is racist. You know it CNN. You would nail Senator John McCain if he said typical black person. Then there is Obams' s close friendship with the terrorist William Ayers. I know my comments will no show up because CNN only want feedback from what they want to hear!!!

    August 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  5. daniel vilca

    another funny thing... did anybody knew that the attorney from delaware who arrest larry sinclair( the gay reporter who claim have sexual relations with senator obama, besides using drugs) was not other that ....GEN BIDEN! THE SON OF JOE BIDEN! mmmm it looks like someone own a favor to biden!

    August 24, 2008 at 5:49 am |
  6. Dinky

    Everyone is talking about how great Obama's values ARE anyone who is liiving in a millon dollar house and can't send his 1/2 brother enough money to get a descent house to live in & give him enough money to get a new start in life. If he won't do it for his 1/2 brother what makes you think he will do anything for the poor in American..

    Murder is Murder & if the Holy Bible says" Thou shalt not Kill" regardless of later term aboration or not is still murder. When will we have someone saying that old people who is of no value any more should be killed..

    I don't buy anything he says......... C U


    August 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  7. Ralph Illinois

    Now I know why John McCain doesn't campaign on weekends.

    He spends his weekends doing housework, with seven homes he keeps very busy. Most Americans don't actually own a home.

    He's got more furniture to dust than Saddam Hussein had.

    August 23, 2008 at 11:28 pm |
  8. Wade

    John McCain need to sit and let the real professionals handle the work, Obama has inspired a lot of people during this election campaign including myself. He made me feel that the American dream is still available for the working class citizens and it is never to late or to early to start. By picking Joe Biden he has reassure the democrats, republicans and the independents that he is really in for a fight to help America reclaim the greatness of its nature and not let John McCain take the tax break to the big oil companies and the big Corporations. John McCain said if you don’t have $5,000,000.00 you are not rich, well, if he is going to help the big corporations in keeping the jobs outside of this US, he will be the only one with MORE THAN 7 HOUSES. When most of the people in the country is either worrying about their home in foreclosure or the neighbor’s foreclose home which is putting their home value, their American dream down JOHN McCAIN DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW MANY HE HAS. That’s a shame

    August 23, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  9. Randy in Seattle

    Im an OBAMA supporter but I I'm wrong when I say Welcome to the White house John McCain. When will our votes truly count for anything. Had OBAMA actually listened to the Votes and paid attention to them and what WE AS VOTERS WANTED HILLARY WOULD BE WHERE BIDEN IS and there would be NO DOUBT as to who would be the next president.

    Much respect to you Senetor OBAMA but I think you screwed up royally this time. No offense Senetory Biden But you didn't get 18 million Votes HRC Did how come our votes don't matter?

    August 23, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Pam Roach

    I cannot imagine Joe Biden as his running mate. John McCain will win with that choice.

    August 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  11. Vicki

    McCain certainly has the capability of change. I was an Obama supporter until last night. I find him quick and decisive. If you honestly think that McCain cannot bring about a change in the economy then vote for Obama and find out what its like to wait!

    August 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  12. Gary Chandler in Canada

    The VP running mate that Limbaugh chooses for McCain will have an effect on the polls!

    August 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  13. Pat

    Hi Sarah,

    Well Obama is ....... Bumping I guess in the words of the Republicans!

    And in my opinion, he will keep bumping and surging (using Republican action verbs) with Biden as his VP. A Great Choice that will bring the Democratic Party Success and the White House. Now the Dems have a young vibrant, intelligent President and an experienced, strategic, polished, and savy foreign ambassador as VP.

    To those spurned Hillary supporters who won't vote for Hillary now, I guess it won't matter if you choose to vote for McCain to show your anger and disgust against the DNC, who could care less as they've shown. As McCain will still loose even with Hillary supporters. I hope you take the high road as you will only be hurting yourselves.

    August 23, 2008 at 7:44 am |
  14. J.V.hodgson

    Dear all, why is this so called bump a big issue, its a natural consequence of the media attending and reporting these events to the level they now do, although I guess, many,many viewers will be selective what they watch or not.
    So when the reublicans hold thier convention they get a bump, and within a couple of weeks after the voters have digested what they want to hear and listened to the back and forth fighting about whose best ,it all settles down and their may be a few points of change in the polls, which all one can say about them is that they are at this stage notoriously unreliable about the eventual outcome, because come Nov 4th its votes that count and then that horrible electoral college.

    August 23, 2008 at 12:47 am |
  15. Art

    And – I don't care who Obama picks for VP. I want Obama for POTUS.

    August 23, 2008 at 12:08 am |
  16. Art

    The only young people McCain is reaching are Bushs' war souveniers coming home in bags. McCain is out of touch and not fit for POTUS.

    I never considered myself a Democrat, but the way the R's have manipulated people with "God, guns & gays' fearmongering is pathetic and should be criminal. GW should be impeached, and "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" McSame should never be trusted in the WH.

    And you HRC people need to get over yourselves. She LOST, she admitted it, and you are sounding childish!

    August 23, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  17. lampe

    If Obama, doesn't pick HRC, come Monday morning it will be McCain,who gets the bump. Clinton supporters, and P.U.M.A. are just waiting for this decision to be made, and then all HELL is going to break loose.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Mark

    The Obama drama game go's on folks!!! When Obama not Trashing people name's he is talking with jail birds friends Rezko!!! It's time you people wake-up and see the light!!! Obama not a leader you count on!! McCain your man!! McCain has worked hard all his life to bring a better way life for everyone in this Nation. No has touch the youth of this Nation like McCain. Obama out for one thing and one thing only to make a spot in the History books for himself!! McCain 2008!!!!

    August 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  19. Marie Mtl, Can.

    HOOOOOOOOOOhooooooo is he afraid, no chance to take, sure that is what he is thinking, when he decide to send the MEMO. And memo big anough to make them think for the futur 'what about the debates to come' mammamia

    August 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  20. JImmy in California

    I am beginning to tire of this waiting game to hear who his VP choice is. I got other things to do and, frankly I am beginning to tire of Obama playing his games. I am one of his supporters but I am not one for games. I want to get this VP's name out there and get on message with the issues and hang McCain out to dry. I see Obama going negative and I do not like that either. He needs to let his surrogates do the negative stuff. He needs to stay positive and on the High Ground. When that happens I will come back to the campaign.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    This election hasn't fit any of the molds for past elections so I wonder if the alleged bump will occur or will occur at the percentage point they cite. Obama will get a bump but the question is how much and will it last when McCain announces his VP pick and has his convention mere days after Obama's. Being second in having the convention sounds like an advantage this year.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 22, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  22. Arachnae

    heh – expectations gaming. Falling for it?

    August 22, 2008 at 9:10 pm |