Election 2016

Trump's Republican Convention Was the Opposite of Effective

Gallup poll finds 51 percent of respondents less likely to vote Trump based on the RNC.


Gage Skidmore / Foter

At this point in the presidential race, national polls still aren't terribly predictive, as Stephanie Slade noted earlier today. But we're getting closer to the point in time in which they will be. And in the meantime, even beyond the polls showing that Trump's bump may have already disappeared, other indicators suggest that Trump fared unusually poorly at this year's Republican National Convention (RNC).

For example, Gallup found last week that Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the RNC was the most poorly recieved in 20 years, with just 35 percent of Americans saying it was good or excellent. As a comparison, 58 percent of Americans gave a good or excellent rating to Barack Obama's acceptance speech in 2008, while 44 percent gave good marks to Hillary Clinton's speech this year, with just 20 percent saying it was poor or terrible.

Not only did Americans not like Trump's speech, they weren't exactly moved by the convention as a whole. The same Gallup poll found that 51 percent of respondents said that what they heard, read, and saw about convention made them less likely to vote for Trump, while just 36 percent said it made them more likely.

Gallup has asked this question since 1984, and it's the only time a majority has come away from any convention, Republican or Democratic, saying that they were less likely to vote for the candidate. It's the worst showing in three decades.

Hillary Clinton's reviews weren't exactly wildly enthusiastic either: 41 percent said the Democratic convention made them less likely to vote for her, which would be a record high, if not for Trump's showing. But 45 percent said they were more likely to vote for her. Unlike Trump, Clinton's numbers weren't upside down.

Trump has, of course, bragged that he won the viewership battle: And it's true that more people watched his speech than watched rival Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech a week later. But if Gallup's poll is accurate, it seems to have been more of a turn off than a selling point.