Gallup has just released its first post-GOP convention polls: among registered voters, Bush edges Kerry 49%-48%, among likely voters, Bush leads Kerry 52%-45%. (A number of observers have questioned Gallup's screening for likelies). Both figures show a 2-point gain for Bush; a bounce, yes, but nothing like what Time and Newsweek found. (Serious doubts have been raised about both polls, which appear to have oversampled Republicans. Also see here.)
Bush's approval rating is at 52%. He increased his lead over Kerry on handling terrorism and Iraq, but not on the economy. Interestingly, about half of voters said that the Republicans have attacked Kerry unfairly and that the convention was too negative.
Just about half of respondents rated Bush's speech as "excellent" or "good" -- John Kerry received essentially the same scores. So did Bush and Gore in 2000. Even Bob Dole's "bridge to the past" debacle was rated highly by about half of respondents.
Ruy Teixeria notes that the public appeared pretty unimpressed with the GOP convention.
On the one hand, this is a pretty small bounce; on the other, Kerry has precious little time to catch up. (Although there are the debates, and the possibility of more news like this from Iraq).
I wonder whether the Labor Day/Hurricane Frances/Russian horror black hole for campaign news will wipe out memories of the GOP convention. Or will it just eat up time that Kerry could have used to catch up?