Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
ABC News has a new poll out, and for the most part it's about what you'd expect. Obama has gained some ground since the Democratic convention and now leads Mitt Romney by a few points among registered voters and by one point among likely voters. But there's also this rather astonishing result:
Additionally, there’s been a shift in preferences in the eight tossup states identified by the ABC News Political Unit: Registered voters in these states now favor Obama over Romney by 54-40 percent, vs. 42-48 percent in these same states before the party conventions.
That's a shift of 12 points in a couple of weeks. WTF? Why did battleground state voters respond to the conventions so much more strongly than everyone else? That's a gigantic swing. Was there something else going on at the same time that could explain this? Did advertising strategies change? Did Hurricane Isaac boost Obama for some reason?
There's gotta be something. Even if the GOP convention was a dud and the Democratic convention was a barnburner, there's no way enough people were watching in the first place to account for a change of this size. So what happened?