Friday :: Aug 27, 2004

Surviving The Slings And Arrows


by pessimist

John Kerry continues to lead - Zogby

This is just one poll - all the others have to be taken into account before anything significant can be discerned - but the New Zogby Interactive Presidential Battleground Poll Reveals Democrat John Kerry continues to lead. It shows Mr. Kerry leading, 286 Electoral College votes to 214 Electoral College votes for Mr. Bush.

I follow up with an interesting look at the polls by The Orlando Weekly. They have some very interesting insights that shouldn't be missed.

We'll let Zogby explain his methodology:

This chart reflects the sentiments of likely voters in 16 key battleground states, and it assumes that the 34 states not included in this poll will go in the 2004 presidential election to the candidate of the same party who won them four years ago. Not included in the tally are those votes from two states that remain too close to call (within tenths of a percentage point): Florida, with 27 votes, and Missouri, with 11. Note that several other states are very close to being toss-ups as well.Each state poll carries its own margin of error. Four new states have been added to the polling for this period, and those results are noted at the end of this report, but they are not reflected in the chart.

Here is the latest Zogby chart of the race, as cited:

ZOGBY'S RACE SO FAR: (Bush v Kerry)

Aug. 23 214 286
Aug. 3 215 291
Jul 26 220 275
Jul 10 205 322
Jun 20 285 253
Jun 6 242 296
May 23 218 320

Released: August 25, 2004

I'd like to point out that only in the June 20 results is Bu$h leading Kerry, and that all the other results for Bu$h are less than Kerry's lowest polling on June 20, which confirms the following statement by Zogby:

George W. Bush has tried without success to make meaningful progress with a heavy barrage of television and radio advertisements in battleground states, combined with an aggressive travel schedule that has taken him coast-to-coast.

As Zogby's numbers indicate, Bu$h has had an effect on Kerry, but not success. He has yet to overcome the lead shown in this poll's historical results. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the other polls, which all should have new results coming out soon.

Bush is running weakly among women and younger voters, and has sent Mrs. Bush out to campaign. She draws mostly women, but seldom varies from a prepared text talking about issues that are intended to resonate with these voters - specifically how her husband has helped women around the world [Like in Afghanistan and Iraq? - ed] and here at home.

There might just be some hope for her, as she told reporters she does not enjoy how this campaign has played out. But considering how she tolerates, like a Texas Goodwife should, the sort of little put-downs she gets from Bu$h, I doubt she swings much influence with him to change that.


Another look at the polls

The Orlando Weekly has an interesting compendium of polling results, some fresh, and some in serious need of refreshment. I'll save space and just show the results of the more recent ones.

IT AIN'T A TIE

Briefly interrupted by the mid-June media circus over Ronald Reagan's death, but firmly re-established since early July (after Fahrenheit 9/11 began screening), the latest state polls, as of Aug. 24, put Kerry ahead of Bush by 108 electoral votes (with Colorado's nine votes tied). Currently, Kerry leads in former Bush states Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada and New Hampshire. (And at one time or another during the past five weeks, Kerry has also led in former Bush states Arkansas, Ohio, Arizona and West Virginia.)

Why is Kerry leading handily in electoral votes while the popular vote remains close? Because there has been a major shift in about 15 states, with seven former "battlegrounds" moving to Kerry and eight former Bush states becoming freshly competitive. Although many pollsters and pundits have been focusing much of their attention on Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico, those states have moved firmly toward Kerry. At the same time, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and even South Carolina are now in play.

Seven ongoing battleground states have stayed close, with the candidates currently within 5 percent of each other. In addition Kerry currently has a dozen states in the West, East and Midwest, which provide an unshakeable foundation of 113 electoral votes for him versus 17 mostly smaller bedrock Bush states, with 134 votes.

Finally, Kerry benefits from the fact that currently only one state (Nevada; five votes) is likely to be taken from him by the Nader vote.

BATTLEGROUNDS LEAN KERRY

Pennsylvania (went Gore by 5 percent in 2000; 21 electoral votes): Pennsylvania has been in the Kerry column since June 21, leading by five to 10 points in all of the 11 most recent polls. The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) has Kerry up 8 percent.

Oregon (went Gore by 0.36 percent; seven votes): Oregon - in the seven readings since June 7, Kerry led by a steady 6 percent to 11 percent. The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 23) has Kerry up by 11 percent.

Washington (went Gore by 5 percent; 11 votes): The last 10 polls have all shown Kerry ahead by 6 percent to 9 percent. The latest poll results (Zogby, Aug. 23): Kerry by 8 percent.

New Hampshire (went Bush by 1 percent; four votes): In January 2004, Bush led by 15 points. In April, Kerry regained the lead here and has strengthened it until he was in front by 9 percent on Aug. 3. The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) shows Kerry up 7 percent.

Iowa (went Gore by 2 percent; seven votes): Kerry has a lead of 7 percent as of Aug. 24 (Zogby).

New Mexico (went Gore by 0.1 percent; five votes): Kerry steamed ahead by seven to 10 points in seven of the eight July-to-August surveys. The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) has Kerry up 6 percent.

Minnesota (went Gore by 2 percent; 10 votes): Kerry has pulled ahead by 5 percent to 8 percent in four late July-to-August samplings. The latest poll results (Zogby, Aug. 24) show Kerry up by 5 percent.

NEW BATTLEGROUNDS

Nevada (went Bush by 4 percent; five votes): Bush led by 28 percent way back in July 2003 and by 11 percent in March, but Kerry had a 4 percent advantage on July 23. The latest poll (Survey USA, Aug. 18) in this race shows Bush up by 3 percent. Nevada's back in play.

Tennessee (went Bush by 4 percent; 11 votes): Formerly solid Bush territory (up 19 percent on June 21), the Volunteer state has turned on a dime and Kerry narrowly led in three of the four most recent polls. The latest (Zogby, Aug. 24) has Kerry up 2 percent.

Arizona (went Bush by 6 percent; 10 votes): The Aug. 1 Market Solutions poll said Bush was up 3 percent.

Colorado (went Bush by 8 percent; nine votes): The home of Coors and Columbine has leaned Bush-ward consistently since September 2003, but his lead has slipped to zero in the latest Rasmussen tally, conducted Aug. 20.

Arkansas (went Bush by 6 percent; six votes): Kerry has been moving up, but Bush leads in the latest poll (Survey USA, Aug. 24) by 1 percent.

Virginia (went Bush by 7 percent; 13 votes): The latest poll (Rasmussen, Aug. 3) has Bush up by 4 percent.

TWO ODDITIES

Maine (went Gore by 5 percent; four votes). Go figure! From September 2003 through May 2004, Kerry led comfortably (by nine to 19 points) in four polls, but most recently (Rasmussen, Aug. 9) his lead was only 4 percent, so this former Kerry stronghold appears now to be a battleground.

California (went Gore by 11 percent; 55 votes): Kerry has led in every poll since Jan. 13, 2004, but his leads have increased through Aug. 17 (averaging 13 percent). Then, on Aug. 20, Survey USA inexplicably reported that Kerry's lead dropped to 3 percent. Many pundits are very suspicious of this poll.

STILL BATTLEGROUNDS

Missouri (went Bush by 3 percent; 11 votes): Kerry leads by a gnat's eyebrow: 0.5 percent (Aug. 25, Zogby).

Ohio (went Bush by 4 percent; 20 votes): The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) has Bush up by 6 percent.

Florida (went Bush by 0.0001 percent, via Supreme Court; 27 votes). The state tightly controlled by brother Jeb has experienced no fewer than 15 lead changes in the past 17 months. Kerry led in the five polls taken between July 30 and Aug. 10; Bush popped ahead by 2 percent on Aug. 22 and then Kerry regained a 0.6 percent lead in Zogby's latest (Aug. 24).

Wisconsin (went Gore by 0.22 percent; 10 votes): Kerry led in the five most recent polls, by 2 percent to 9 percent. The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) shows Kerry up 4 percent.

West Virginia (went Bush by 6 percent; five votes): The latest poll (Zogby, Aug. 24) shows Bush up by 8 percent.

Michigan (went Gore by 5 percent; 17 votes): The last 10 readings have all been Kerry, by 2 to 11 percent. The latest results (Zogby, Aug. 24): Kerry led by 5 percent.

PITFALLS AHEAD

Should Kerry supporters feel encouraged by the data above? Yes and no. Two pitfalls lie ahead.

First there's the "October surprise." After Bush's theft of the 2000 election and his clear swoon in the electoral vote tabulations, he is widely believed to have a dirty trick up his sleeve, and the way has been prepared to postpone the election if we suffer another major terror attack.

Second and even scarier 98 million U.S. ballots will go into computers which could be used to falsify the results, leaving no paper record available for recounts.

It is widely believed that Republican operatives hacked electronic voting machines in Georgia and Minnesota in 2002, giving their party control of the Senate. A week before the Georgia vote, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed popular Democratic Sen. Max Cleland ahead by five points, but he mysteriously lost to his GOP foe, Saxby Chambliss, by seven points. Georgia was the first state to use electronic voting devices almost exclusively.

In Minnesota, Sen. Paul Wellstone was a shoo-in for re-election when he died in a plane crash. Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale, who led significantly days before the election, replaced him. Shockingly, Republican Norm Coleman was the recipient of an unexpected 11-point vote shift on Election Day but no one checked the vulnerable chips that tabulated the votes.

FINAL FACTORS

Bush's standing among the few remaining "undecided" voters is weak. Only 31 percent of them think the United States is headed in the right direction, and 32 percent disapprove of his job performance. Bush's attempts to woo ethnic voters have flopped.

Latino voters favor Kerry 69 percent to 19 percent.

Despite pandering to Likud, Bush trails Kerry with Jewish voters by the same margin he lagged behind Gore in 2000.

Bush's emphases on wedge issues such as partial-birth abortion and gay marriage have failed him with Catholics who support Kerry by 52 percent to 37 percent.

Kerry now leads Bush in the South (by 2 percent, according to a July 30 post-convention Newsweek poll), as well as in the East (22 percent) and West (7 percent); he trails the prez by 5 percent in the crucial Midwest.

Kerry's lead in the "blue" (Democratic-leaning) states is now 12 percent, while Bush is only up by 2 percent.

Among 18- to 29-year-old voters (whom Gore carried by only 2 percent), Kerry leads by a whopping 20 percent.

Significantly, Kerry has a 25 percent lead among voters who didn't vote in 2000 and is attracting 75 percent of former Nader voters.

Finally, Kerry had huge convention bounces on issues and attributes according to an Aug. 2 AP/Washington Post poll. He leaped 16 percent on ability to handle health care better (leading Bush by 19 percent), rose 15 percent on terrorism (to trail by only 3 percent), leapt 14 percent on Iraq (now up by 2 percent), and by 12 percent each on taxes, education and the economy. The poll also showed Kerry now leading Bush by 9 percent on international relations and 5 percent on intelligence presumably information rather than IQ.

What's it take for a world conqueror wannabe to get some respect around here!

Seriously, this is just another snapshot on the way to developing the final finish photo in November. As the Orlando Weekly points out, there are a lot of things that can swing the result should they happen, and considering that the trends don't favor Bu$h, I expect that some - no, all of them can be expected.


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pessimist :: 7:31 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!