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Kerry Has Strong Lead in Hawaii

John Kerry leads George Bush among Hawaii's registered voters 48-41 in a SMS Research poll conducted July 28-August 3rd for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and KITV.

Comments

Given that Gore won HI by 18 points and even Dukakis won it by 10, I wouldn't describe a 7-point lead there as strong...if this poll is accurate, it is a disturbing one, in the same way that a poll showing a 7-point Bush lead in Indiana or South Carolina would be encouraging.
Roy

A lead is a lead, and just like wars, one of the most common faults is fighting the last campaign instead of this one. Each year there are battleground states and safe states, but they're not always the same ones.

I'd be somewhat surprised if Bush didn't stay around 40% on election day in HI and Kerry grabbed nearly all the undecideds to push 60%. As Charlie Cook has repeated a lot lately, Bush would be lucky to get 1/4 of the undecideds, which I suppose would be especially true in Democratic Hawaii.

Why is a 7-point lead in Hawaii strong but a 7-point lead in Florida slight?

OK, Joe, a lead is a lead. Does this mean that you would _not_ be encouraged by a poll showing Bush ahead by 7 in Alabama?

As for the battleground states being different each time, I disagree. They are mostly predictable, with only a few exceptions in each cycle (the difinition is, of course, states where the vote is fairly close to the national vote). The battlegrounds in 2000, for example, did not include states that Dole won in 1996 or states that Clinton won by 20 points.