Zogby Shows A Closer Race Than Others
Zogby’s latest poll, taken through last night and out today, shows that Bush/Cheney have a two-point lead over Kerry/Edwards, 47%-45% among likely voters. (Keep in mind that Zogby has had a good record over the last several elections.) Note that this 2-3 point lead for Bush over Kerry is consistent with all three polls of likely voters taken in the last several days, so ignore the polls that show large single-digit or double-digit Bush leads. They’re garbage.
Notice that the margin for Bush/Cheney over Kerry/Edwards in the Zogby poll however has stayed at 2% since the convention, so there has been no movement towards Bush/Cheney after all since the close of the convention. What is clearly true however is that Kerry has suffered greatly from the GOP onslaught in August, as he gave up a seven-point lead after his own convention, as well as leads among Catholics, women, and independents. He also suffered losses in his own Blue States, while Bush firmed up his Red State support since the Democratic convention. But Rove has proved that you can drive down your opponent’s numbers and cut into his base, as Bush has done to Kerry, contrary to what all the pollsters said about this race being locked in amongst each side’s base.
There are several interesting things about these results. First, as I said Kerry’s lost support has come from his own base among liberals and Democrats, where only 77% say they will vote for him. Obviously this can be fixed as Zogby notes if Kerry refocuses his message on issues aimed at the Democratic base, which will also serve to push up his Blue State vote. But second, notice the under-the-radar support that is growing for Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik, who is now claiming almost 1% of the vote just since last month.
Kerry needs to focus on his base and get his own numbers up to the upper forties by the time of the debates. It’s that simple.
Update: Despite some gloomy polls earlier in the week about Bush overtaking Kerry in both Pennsylvania and even burying him now in Missouri, late polls today from Survey USA taken through yesterday show that despite the GOP assault, Kerry still leads in Pennsylvania and is virtually tied in Missouri, just like they were in July.
Furthermore, Survey USA unlike other polls earlier in the week is showing a tightening race in Ohio, where they have Bush ahead of Kerry now by only three points (50%-47%). Also, in a shock, Kerry is now only four points behind in North Carolina. These polls are fresh also, having been taken through Wednesday night. And Kerry is only three points behind in Virginia.
And this is all after the battering he has taken since the DNC convention and since his recent return to aggressive, issues-oriented campaigning.