Wednesday, August 15, 2012


i don't understand why election campaigns think a bounce in the polls is a good thing. a bounce includes a gain for that candidate in the polls, so in that limited sense i understand why the campaign for the bouncing candidate would like it. who doesn't want a gain in the polls?

but that's not all a bounce is. a bounce also implies a temporary increase in the polls that comes back down shortly thereafter. that's where the "bounce" metaphor comes from. the ball goes up, but then it comes down. a "bounce" is also sometimes referred to as a "bump." but doesn't a bump have both an up-slope and a down-slope?

an increase that evaporates before election day isn't a real increase. by calling it a bounce, there is a tacit acknowledgment of the ephemeral nature of the gain. what they should want is a real increase. a bounce is a fake increase.