So, What About Mitt Romney’s Post-RNC Poll Number Bump?

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TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers his nomination acceptance speech during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Mitt Romney at the RNC on Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2012 Getty Images

As part of the campaign's regular Lower Your Expectations refrain, Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens told a planeload of reporters on Tuesday that 11-point boost Mitt Romney had once expected from the Republican National Convention was unlikely. "I just think all bets are off about any kind of past performance being a predictor of the future," he said. But as political scientist Tom Holbrook has found, there's really no such thing as "past performance" when it comes to convention-generated numbers: consider Barry Goldwater's 16-point spike in 1964 versus Barack Obama's 1.8-point twitch four years ago. (Holbrook himself predicted a 3.8 point bump for Romney.) This Reuters/Ipsos rolling poll — released just before Romney's (and Clint Eastwood's) speeches — had the GOP candidate up two points (from 42 to 44). As of yesterday, Gallup put a post-speech Romney at 46 — exactly where he was on August 22nd.