Kerry Widens Lead in Battleground States!
Now that's a headline you're not likely to see in the mainstream media, consumed as they are with the storyline du jour about Bush's Big Mo' from the convention.
But that's what the internals of the latest Gallup poll tell us. Prior to the Republican convention, Kerry had a one point lead among RVs (47-46) in the battleground states. After the Republican convention, now that battleground voters have had a chance to take a closer look at what Bush and his party really stand for, Kerry leads by 5 in these same states (50-45)! Note that Kerry gained three points among battleground voters, while Bush actually got a negative one point bounce.
And wait--there's more! The Gallup poll's internals also show that Kerry continues to lead among independents (49-46) and that both parties' partisans are equally polarized for their respective candidates (90-7). Note that these findings directly contradict the results of the recent Newsweek poll, which showed Bush doing much better among Republican partisans than Kerry was doing among Democratic partisans. Note also that, given the equal polarization of partisans and Kerry's lead among independents, the only possible reason Bush has any lead at all among Gallup's RVs must be because their sample has a GOP advantage on party ID (my guess is 5 points) that is inconsistent with almost all other polling data from this campaign season (see my recent post on the Newsweek poll for more discussion of this issue).
Indeed, if equal polarization of partisans continues and Kerry carries a 3 point lead on independents into the election, he'll win fairly easily, since the Democratic proportion of voters in presidential elections is always higher, not lower, than the Republican proportion. In 2000, after all, Bush carried independents by 2 points and received stronger support from his partisans than Gore did from his--but still lost the popular vote by half a point.
Now that's another storyline you're unlikely to see in the mainstream media.