Monday :: Oct 4, 2004

As Zogby Shows A One-Point Race, Kerry Pivots To Swing Voter Issues


by Steve

The latest Zogby poll out this morning shows a one-point Bush lead over Kerry amongst likely voters, which is down from a three-point Bush lead two weeks ago. The poll shows a 46%-45% Bush lead over Kerry, but more significantly it shows that there are 8% undecided, and it also shows in a three-way race that Ralph Nader is hurting Kerry by drawing more than 2% of the vote.

The Zogby poll results mirror those of other pollsters in that the respondents in this poll affirm that Kerry won the first debate and looked much more presidential than he had previously. Bush’s approval rating has inched up to 49% while his disapproval rating stayed steady at 52%. And although the “re-elect/someone new” numbers (46% re-elect, 49% someone new) haven’t changed for Bush, the best news for the president in this poll is that the “right direction/wrong direction” number has gone up to a 48% right direction figure, the highest for Bush in months.

Yet the most ominous development for Bush in this poll is this from Zogby himself:

The post convention bounce for Bush is over and his biggest hurdle is among undecided voters who give him a 31 percent positive job performance rating and a 69 percent negative rating. Only 13 percent of undecided voters feel that the president deserves re-election (his lowest yet) while 37 percent feel it is time for someone new.

So Bush has squandered his convention bounce, and he is toast with the undecided voters, whom history shows usually break towards the challenger at the close anyway.

Kerry is smartly capitalizing on his debate win and neutering of Bush’s foreign policy advantage by quickly pivoting to domestic issues this week and particularly to issues that may matter a great deal to swing and undecided voters. Today Kerry began an assault against Bush on the gold mine issue of stem cell research, an issue where Bush is vulnerable. Bush continues to focus his campaign like a one trick pony on foreign policy issues only, leaving the domestic field solely to Kerry in the run up to the next debate.

I realize that Bush's cupboard of domestic accomplishments is bare, but is his second term agenda of social security privatization, tort reform, minimal health insurance coverage, and more tax cuts so un-sellable that he has to avoid dealing with domestic issues altogether on the stump?

Steve :: 7:44 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!