Pew Center Poll Says Bounce Is Gone - Race Even
(Graphic courtesy of Pew Center website)
Thanks to a tip from commenter John Obie, and as a follow-up to my earlier post about polls showing that the Bush bounce is gone already, the respected Pew Center poll just came out and it shows that the race is back to even, with each candidate getting 46% of the vote.
In other words, the White House, the RNC, the Mighty Wurlitzer, and Fox News just hit Kerry with six weeks of everything they had, and the race is even.
According to the large sample size poll, Kerry has regained leads with voters over Bush on the issues of the economy (46% prefer Kerry, 40% prefer Bush), and jobs (Kerry 47%, Bush 40%). But Bush has yet to yield his gains over Kerry on Iraq (52%-40%) or the war on terrorism (58%-31%). Furthermore, the attacks against Kerry in August served Rove’s purposes in deflating some of Kerry’s support amongst his base, but Kerry has rebounded now to have better favorable/unfavorable ratios than Bush.
The latest national survey of 1,972 registered voters by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted in two waves over a seven-day period, finds that the president's large margin of support in the initial period (Sept. 8-10) dissipated in the polling conducted Sept. 11-14. Among all registered voters Bush initially led Kerry by 52%-40%. However, the second wave of interviewing shows the race even among registered voters, at 46%-46%. When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, Bush holds a statistically insignificant lead of 47%-46% in the second wave, down from a huge 54%-38% advantage he held in the first wave of interviews.
As more time has passed since the Aug. 30-Sept.2 Republican convention, Kerry's unfavorable ratings have receded somewhat. And while Kerry no longer holds the big advantage he once had on most issues, his standing relative to Bush has rebounded slightly on the economy.
The second wave of polling also finds less acceptance of Republican criticism of the Democratic candidate. Fewer voters agree with the statement "John Kerry changes his mind too much." Fewer think the chances of terrorism would increase if Kerry is elected. In addition, a substantial majority of voters (66%) believe Vice President Cheney went too far when he suggested recently that risk of terrorism would increase if voters "make the wrong choice." That opinion remained steady through the polling period.
So the GOP smears are sticking less and less. That's a bad sign for Rove.
Some additional findings from the poll show that very few swing voters care about each candidate’s Vietnam experiences, and almost half of all voters and nearly two-thirds of all swing voters think that it’s “not clear what George W. Bush is going to do about Iraq if he is reelected." This is further ammunition to support the argument that Kerry should hammer Bush on Iraq.
All in all, it is a good reason for folks like me to come in off the ledge and refocus ourselves to getting the base back with the program and push Kerry and Edwards to go on the offensive. It sure points out how soft and transitory any benefit Bush had from his convention really was.
Now only if the media would report this and stop the “Bush is inevitable” crap….