Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Time mag poll

Time mag poll came out yesterday, with much good news for Bush:

"President Bush has opened a 5 point lead against Senator John Kerry, according the latest Time poll. If the 2004 election for President were held today, 51% of likely voters surveyed would vote for President George W. Bush, 46% would vote for Senator John Kerry, and 2% would vote for Ralph Nader, according to the TIME poll conducted by telephone from Oct. 19 – 21. Among all registered voters surveyed, Bush leads Kerry 50% to 43%.

Last week’s Time poll found 48% of likely voters would vote for Bush, 47% would vote for Kerry, and 3% would vote for Nader. That poll was conducted Oct. 14-15 and included 865 likely voters." Also note this (a few paragraphs down): Bush’s approval ratings are up to 53%, and women are evenly split (46-46%), whereas two weeks ago Kerry had a lead among women, 50-42%. Keep your eye on the women vote; Kerry has to win them by 10 points, else he has no chance.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I am an election judge working in the early elections. We have three to four times the traffic that we can comfortably handle and this year we doubled our staff. Every day it is non stop with a large crowd. I am impressed with the attitude (respectful, following the no politicing rules, etc.) of the crowd and the number of young people who are voting. No mastter what happes, the will of the people will be known.

This poll is the best for Bush. But in
general (and particularly in Rasmussen and Zogby), the slight move to Bush over
the last week or so has stalled. He’s
probably stuck at about +2 with an approval rating of more or less 50%. Kerry’s rating is about the same. To be honest, this is not such great news, because the undecided will break to Kerry a bit at the end. There are two big reasons for this: 1. If the possibilities are both equally repulsive, then the natural tendency is to give the new guy a chance and 2. The immediate indicators are not so good--gas prices, flu shots, stock market etc.

What I just said is not intended to fill your hearts with despair, but to make clear how important a big Bush effort is over the last week are so.
He has to bring home social conservatives who dislike the Iraq war,
and all of us must get our friends who want to protest Bush’s presidency for this or that failing to see the irresponsibility of not coming home.

Kerry, objectively speaking, has a small but real edge right now, and the election may well turn on social conservative turnout in Ohio, Wisconsin,
and Minnestota.

I disagree with your comment about undecideds breaking for the challenger. I read an analysis of this issue and for the most post, undecideds break for the incumbent. I believe the two exceptions were Dole in 1996 and Goldwater in 1964.

Two other "exceptions" are 1980--with a massive gain by Reagan--and 1972--when McGovern actually did better than any polled showed he would (although he still was slaughtered). Truman would be
an incumbent who did better than the polls predicted. But Eisenhower didn’t really surprise one way or the other. Same, of course, with Reagan. Ford’s surge was mostly before the final few days, and Ford was a special, special case. Bush’s surge stalled in the final few days, and there was a minor break to Clinton at the end.

So the preponderance of evidence is on my side in presidential elections, and even more so when it comes to elections in general.

But we can wonder: Is the Bush case more like Carter’s or Truman’s? That question can generate nothing but very partisan answers. I will say that Kerry is more like Dewey than Reagan. So there’s hope!

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