“The Speech” Didn’t Produce “A Bounce”

On Thursday of last week, Mitt finally gave a much anticipated speech on religious freedom and the Mormon religion.

Although the reviews of the speech were not universally positive, they were very good and they were everywhere in the blogosphere, on talk radio, and even at the top of the Drudge Report.

Even though only a relatively small number of Republicans actually heard the speech, you have to figure, given the coverage that it received, that a large number of them heard positive things about the speech.

So, did Mitt get a bounce out of the speech? According to the Rasmussen Reports Daily Tracking poll, not so much.

On the day he gave the speech, he was at 12%. Since then, he has been at 13%. Does a 1% increase even count as a bounce? Not really…and that’s bad news. Let me tell you why.

Initially, my thought was that Mitt would probably get a temporary bounce from the speech and then would go back to normal. However, given that Mitt didn’t even get the sort of temporary bounce you’d expect from a glut of positive coverage, I think John Podhoretz may have been right and Mitt may have damaged himself with the speech. In other words as I wrote on Friday,

“So, according to the study, Evangelicals (who are an extremely large and important group of primary voters) dislike Mormons almost as much as atheists, but half the country, including presumably, half the Evangelicals didn’t know Romney was a Mormon.

In other words, in effect, what Romney may have just done with the speech is run an enormous negative ad against himself that could, after the bump he gets from the positive speech coverage, cause him to dip below his previous numbers.”

Time will tell if that theory is correct.

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