27 August 2004

If anti-Bush protests turn violent at the Republican National Convention in New York next week, it will surely doom Sen. John Kerry to defeat

At least according to a prevailing consensus of media pundits, including KFNX Charles Goyette, where it is reasoned that pandemonium in New York next week will lead to a Bush victory in November. Cited as historical reference is the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago where such battles between protestors and police shocked the nation and resulted in a Nixon triumph. But a closer look reveals a media myth:
As often is the case in such distant matters, a little research shows that this is plain bunk. Humphrey actually gained in the polls immediately following the convention.

According to Gallup Poll data, in a national survey taken Aug. 7-12, 1968, before the Chicago convention, Republican nominee Richard M. Nixon easily led Humphrey (who was expected to get his party's nod later that month in Chicago) by 38.5% to 26%, with the third-party candidate, Gov. George Wallace, grabbing 16.7%.

So what did the Gallup survey taken on Aug. 30 of that year, immediately after the Chicago convention, with the protestor/police riots still fresh in the public's mind, show? Humphrey actually gained support, with Nixon steady at 38.2%, Humphrey up to 28.7% and Wallace at 19.5%.

Humphrey actually received a 3% boost from the convention.
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